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Brown pledges global crusade

Gordon Brown is backing the TES campaign for schools and colleges to create international links and will promise new money next week to boost teacher exchanges.

The Chancellor praises the Make the Link campaign in an article in today's TES, in which he calls on teachers in Britain to join a global "crusade for education" so every child can receive primary free schooling by 2015.

He will join Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, in Mozambique next week to announce further details.

Mr Brown says that teachers in Britain have a crucial role in making the 2015 goal a reality.

"Teachers, schools and education must be at the heart of this action," he writes. "That is why I welcome The TES Make the Link campaign encouraging and rewarding more and better links between schools in Britain and across the world - sharing teacher expertise and taking global citizenship forward."

The Make the Link campaign, which is supported by the bank HSBC and the British Council, awards prizes of up to pound;5,000 to schools with the best international partnerships. This year a new "Education for All"

category has been introduced for British schools which help schools in developing countries to give more pupils a better quality education.

Mr Brown says in his article that he is astonished by the number of partnerships already existing between schools in Britain and Africa. But he believes that more work is needed because, at current rates, as many as 60 countries will still fail to provide primary education for all children by 2015.

Next week, Mr Brown will announce new funds for more school link-ups, with grants to support British teachers' visits to Africa and other exchanges.

He says in his article that he will also be working with other governments to increase funding for education in Africa. Two pupils, a teacher and a member of support staff from Langdon school in East Ham, London, are due to fly to Mozambique tomorrow to join Mr Brown and Mr Mandela at the event on Monday.

The school has created strong links with overseas teachers, including some in Sri Lanka and Kashmir, and its pupils have lobbied MPs and Downing Street to provide more funding for pupils and teachers in developing countries. Lily King Taylor, aged 12, said she would press the Chancellor for extra funding. "There aren't enough teachers in many countries, so you can have 100 children in each class," she said. "He should know all the facts." PLATFORM 17 Fe Focus 1 and 2

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