What happens I if Gordon Brown gets to No 10?

23rd March 2007 at 00:00
Education, education, education was Tony Blair's mantra at the beginning of his prime ministership and since then Downing Street has led on schools'

reform, while the Chancellor has confined himself to early years and skills.

So what would change if Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister?

No return to old Labour

While the privatisation and market-inspired reforms have come from Downing Street, those hoping for a change of tack may be disappointed. It was the Chancellor who was behind the controversial private finance initiative and who this week backed the academies programme, saying that the involvement of private companies in schools would continue.

More targets

Schools and teachers might loath their rigidity, but Mr Brown employed them enthusiastically at the Treasury to keep a tight reign on the rest of the Government.

He insisted that rises in school spending must be tied to improvement targets. Why would he want to stop now?

Emphasis on the under-5s and over-16s

The Chancellor will want to build on the success of Sure Start, his baby, heralded by New Labour as one of its proudest achievements. He has also signalled investment at the other end of the scale with a commitment to make education or training compulsory until the age of 18 by 2013.

A less cosy relationship with the school staff unions

It does not matter how solid the Government's social partnership is now.

There is bound to be a strain when teachers and support staff are faced with pay deals capped at 2 per cent, well below inflation.

Personalised learning

Another Brown favourite. The Chancellor's announcement of an extra pound;500 million for schools to personalise learning in last year's Budget led to the setting up of the Gilbert review to explore exactly what the term could mean.

The return of some familiar faces

Many on the Council of Economic Advisers, Mr Brown's grandly titled kitchen cabinet, are expected to move from the Treasury to Downing Street. Among them are two with recent Department for Education and Skills experience.

Dan Corry, chair of the council, and his colleague Gavin Kelly both worked as special advisers for Ruth Kelly during her spell as education secretary.

They were said to wield considerable power and helped to come up with policy wheezes like choice advisers.

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