What the delegates say;Bournemouth 99;Labour Party Conference

1st October 1999 at 01:00
'You can't expect people to take on responsibilities if you don't give them rights'.

CHRIS ELY, vice-chair of education, Swindon: "I am very impressed with the strong vision ministers are showing. At one fringe meeting, Estelle Morris gave a good outline of what she thinks is important and what makes a good local education authority. The bottom line is that if we don't deliver, we won't get any more chances. The message that we should not get too tied up with structures also comes over strongly. The pound;19 billion they have put into education is good - it isn't enough but then it never is."

CHARLOTTE ATKINS, MP for Staffordshire Moorlands, said: "You can't expect people to take on responsibilities if you don't give them rights. I agree with that. If MPs don't listen to children, and adults, then they will not see the point in participating in democracy."

TONY HOOPER, 58, a retired chemistry teacher, now working as a supply teacher in Caerphilly: "I'm deeply disappointed with these superteacher payments. They're going to split the profession. I would prefer to see an overall award for all teachers. I can see in some schools that teachers will say: 'You're a superteacher, you do the work.'

"I'd like to see more money go into education - specifically into the repair of schools. There are some schools in the Valleys that through no fault of the local authority are in a very poor state of repair."

HUGH MALYAN, education chair, of Croydon, London: "The message I am getting from education ministers is that pragmatism rules the day, with the focus on raising standards. They are not going to be deflected by ideology and they are saying we, in local authorities, have to be open to new ideas. And with the improved key stage 2 results, they can claim legitimately their strategy is working."

Frances Rafferty and Nicolas Barnard

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