School achievement pledge for Blair

Last updated at 13:14 11 February 2005

PM Tony Blair was joined today by Education Secretary Ruth Kelly at a Warwick school to unveil the pledge slogan: "Your child achieving more."

Mr Blair joked with pupils at Myton School in the city as he signed up to the education promise.

Mr Blair and Mrs Kelly were joined by local Warwick and Leamington Spa MP James Plaskitt - whose majority stands at just under 6,000 - later joined sixth-formers in a biology lab.

Ms Kelly said Myton School was the first in Warwickshire to apply for specialist status and is now a science college.

It has 14 science laboratories and interactive whiteboards in every classroom.

The Education Secretary claimed the move to specialist status had helped the school achieve improved GCSE results since Labour came to power in 1997, with three-quarters of all students now securing the top three grades.

"I've been really impressed by what I've seen," she said. "What I want to see is every school have the facilities this school has."

Mr Blair said they would help build on the specialist school programme if re-elected because of the apparent link with overall school standards.

Investment should continue in facilities and teachers should be rewarded because they were training the country's most important elements, its "human capital", he added.

Unveiling the education pledge - "Your child achieving more" - the Prime Minister said: "For the next years, we want to keep that investment going, we want to keep the change so that schools are becoming modern and well-equipped.

"We want to make sure also that we have got strong school discipline and to make sure that, for some youngsters who want to go to university and others who won't want to go, that we have as strong a vocational element as academic element.

"I would like to see a situation - and this will be the test of whether we're really a modern country or not - if every 16-year-old is either staying on at school, studying for A-Levels or in training with an employer or in a modern apprenticeship.

"What we shouldn't have is 16-year-olds leaving, often not with very good results, then just drifting into the workplace and low-paid jobs. That doesn't help the economy. That certainly doesn't help them. That's the ambition for the future."

He added: "'Your child achieving more' is part of what we're saying because it's all about forward not back... it's all about achieving and doing more with your life and fulfilling your ambitions, dreams and hopes because you can, you can do anything you really want to do provided you put your mind to it and get the right help."