Education secretary Gavin Williamson has said the government will drive “further and harder” with education reforms for “as long as it takes”.
Officially opening the World Economic Forum in Westminster today, Mr Williamson addressed education secretaries from around 120 countries in the world.
He said : “Back in 2010, many of our schools had gone into a state of decline. The national curriculum had been stripped of knowledge. Soft skills were more in fashion; textbooks were out.
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"We were stagnating in the international tables. But the most damning thing of all was that we were failing young pupils – particularly those from the poorest backgrounds.”
But he claimed reforms since then were “already bearing fruit,” adding: “For the first time, the latest PISA results show 15-year-olds in England achieving scores above OECD averages in reading, maths and science. In maths, only 12 countries were significantly above us, compared to 19 in 2015.”
He said : “I want to make clear today that this government intends to drive further and harder; to push on with our reforms for as long as it takes so that we drive up standards in every single one of our schools and for all children and young people wherever they live.”
“We are in the middle of an education revolution in this country—one that began in 2010, and which won’t stop until the UK is the best place in the world to educate your child.
Mr Williamson said the key to improving was international collaboration. He said: “This government’s own reform agenda involved a lot of what some would call stealing—but what I prefer to call borrowing—some of the best ideas from around the world.”