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'Creating an education system based on real excellence'

Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled the Government's vision for an education system of "real excellence".

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Speaking at the newly-opened free school in Norwich, Mr Cameron said he wanted to bring “commitment to rigour” back into the classroom and create an education system based on “real excellence” with a complete intolerance of failure.

Every year that passes without proper reform, is another year that tens of thousands of teenagers leave school without the qualifications they really need.

The PM said the government would be focusing on promoting standards in education; changing the structure of education to provide more choice and competition; and confronting education failure “head-on”.

The Teach First programme which takes top graduates and puts them straight in the classroom will be expanded with incentives for the very brightest to teach and the PM said there will be a review of the curriculum to ensure the education system is as robust as possible, and with fewer more rigorous exams.

Mr Cameron said the government would be introducing tough new benchmarking for schools to address failure in both primary and secondary schools. There will also be more decisive action by demanding an improvement plan from the governing body or local authority in control of every failing school.

The PM also said that restoring discipline in schools is not just about giving teachers more powers to deal with unruly pupils, but “is also about what parents do”.

We need parents to have a real stake in the discipline of their children, to face real consequences if their children continually misbehave.

That’s why I have asked our social policy review to look into whether we should cut the benefits of those parents whose children constantly play truant.

The Free School Norwich is one of 24 opening this month with a second wave to be announced within the next few weeks. The groups behind the free schools include parent and teacher lead groups, faith groups and existing academy sponsors.

Free schools don’t just give parents who are frustrated with their local schools a new chance of a better education.

They also encourage existing schools in the area to compete and raise their game.

Published 9 September 2011