JEREMY CORBYN set out plans yesterday for a radical shake-up of education that will see it run and funded in the style of the NHS.
The Labour leader announced that a government led by him would establish a national education service that would ensure “nowhere and no-one is left behind.”
He compared the plan to the birth of the NHS under Clement Attlee’s 1945 Labour government, vowing that it would “enshrine the principle of education free for all at the point of use as official Labour policy.”
His announcement coincided with Tory MPs who oppose the reintroduction of grammar schools being told to “consider their positions.”
As well as abolishing all tuition fees — a major break with the last Labour manifesto, which promised only to reduce university fees in England to £6,000 a year — Mr Corbyn’s plan also focuses on improving apprenticeships and adult skills training.
Mr Corbyn said: “The national education service will put good education at the centre of our society, opening up opportunities to everyone.
“It will mean that children get a good start in life and for the rest of their lives will have their horizons opened and not be restricted in their choices by the education they can afford, rather than the education they have a passion for.
“This will benefit all of us.”
He did not say how much the service would cost but insisted it would lead to an increase in skills and bridge the “productivity crisis.”
The average British worker is currently 30 per cent less productive than counterparts in Germany, France and the United States.
The idea contrasts starkly with the government’s plan to reintroduce grammar schools, which sees children assigned to academic or non-academic education according to the result of tests sat at the age of 11.
The Conservatives have a Commons majority of only 12 and some Tory MPs have threatened to rebel against the policy.
But a group of eight hard-right Tory lobbying groups and three MPs issued a united statement yesterday demanding that the policy is pushed through.
Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney warned: “Any Conservative MP contemplating blocking proposals with such strong backing from the public, Conservative voters, Conservative members and Conservative organisations should consider their position as elected representatives very carefully.”