Labour lists the 26 set to raise standards

Geraldine Hackett

Labour's education team has signed up 26 mainly Labour-controlled authorities to implement at least part of its policy to raise standards in schools.

Several LEAs have already implemented policies favoured by Labour. One of the leading authorities is Birmingham, which has already introduced baseline testing for five-year-olds and has agreed performance targets with schools.

Another, Nottinghamshire, has introduced setting in its schools and Kirklees in West Yorkshire has a programme designed to allow schools to assess their progress in relation to others.

Many of the initiatives have been introduced independently of the Labour party, but are in line with its views on strategies required to raise standards in schools.

David Blunkett, Labour's education spokesman, told its local government conference at the weekend that the authorities are expected to raise standards in two ways including: developing local partnerships; establishing education development plans with targets for standards, attendance and improved skills; monitoring school performance including value-added analysis of exam results; helping schools to improve assessment techniques, and remedial action where schools are failing.

Authorities taking part are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Croydon, Doncaster, Derbyshire, East Renfrewshire, Flintshire, Greenwich, Kirklees, Leeds, Lewisham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Newham, Newport, Nottinghamshire, Redcar and Cleveland, Salford, Sheffield, Shropshire, Southwark, Staffordshire, Suffolk and York. All are Labour-run except Suffolk.

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Geraldine Hackett

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