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Borough's bright blueprint

Camden has received ministerial acclaim for its blueprint on the future of education in the London borough.

The document pre-empts the Government's educational development plans, which each local authority is expected to produce by early next year.

Kim Howells, the minister for lifelong learning, described the document, Camden 2002 - raising achievement together, as "impressive" at this week's launch.

"It is about working together. It looks at what can be done when an LEA works with the different sectors of education and the whole community to improve standards," he said.

The blueprint, which sets out 14 key targets, aims to increase accountability and focuses on raising standards.

Camden is already the top inner London borough for pupils with five or more good GCSEs.Now it is to target the Bangladeshi community, which makes up 14 per cent of its population, for special attention.

The document, launched at the South Camden Community School this week, also sets out a detailed "education pledge" which explains pupils' entitlements to experiences and activities such as residential trips, community service and environmental projects, the creation of school councils and youth forums, and participation in sports teams.

Other targets include improved pupil attendance, more nursery places, fewer exclusions and greater achievement by youngsters who have statements of special needs.

Mr Litchfield said Camden 2002 had been almost two years in the planning, and had involved heads, governors, inspectors, officers and the community.

"We are very proud of this document. It is an important way to bring together what we believe in and what we are going to be judged on. This is an absolute commitment from the authority," he added.

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