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Debating Education at Tolpuddle

I was delighted to be invited by my teaching union the NUT to debate future policy on education at the Tolpuddle Festival this weekend. A robust panel universally celebrated the departure of Conservative education secretary Michael Gove in this weeks reshuffle and I was able to promote our recently agreed policy of qualified teachers for all schools (including Free Schools and Academies) and a Core Curriculum for all schools which would focus on key subjects but allow for diversity based on the needs of schools and the professional ability of teachers to design appropriate curricula.

We also talked about the vital role of Local Education Authorities in coping with the recent increase in numbers of primary aged children in reception and year one classes, which I know is a particular issue in both Sherborne and Dorchester.

I promoted the importance of whole person education – especially in finances, internet use and coping with the pressures of sexualisation of teenagers via the net and the links between domestic violence in this age group and pornography and how important it is for schools to address this very difficult issue.

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