Johnson steps up attack on Labour's education plans

Prime minister tells Conservative Party conference that abolishing Ofsted would stamp out excellence

John Roberts

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Boris Johnson has stepped up the government’s attacks on Labour’s education plans by saying they  would cost £7 billion and stamp out excellence.

The prime minister’s speech to the Conservative Party conference criticised the plans to abolish private schools and replace Ofsted as “damaging and retrograde ideas.”

He also told delegates that the “best way to level-up and to expand opportunity is to give every kid in the country a superb education”.

Mr Johnson said the government was now levelling up education funding across the country to achieve this.

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The prime minister said that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn "wants to ban private schools and expropriate their property".

"Even though it would cost the taxpayer £7 billion to educate the kids, he wants to stamp out excellence in schools by banning Ofsted – the inspectors who ensure that schools are safe for our children.”

The speech follows criticism of Labour’s new policies by education secretary Gavin Williamson, who used his speech on Monday to describe the opposition’s education plans as a recipe for disaster.

The prime minister also talked about school funding during a section of the speech on opportunities for young people and deterring crime.

He said: “We are investing in youth clubs and better FE training to give young people the best possible antidote to the criminal instinct, the prospect of a good job and, indeed, the best way to level-up and to expand opportunity is to give every kid in the country a superb education so that is why we are levelling up education funding across the country.”

Earlier this week, teaching unions said that despite the government's announcement of extra school funding, 80 per cent of schools will still be worse off than they were in 2015.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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