In my role as the Mayor's Youth Ambassador I meet a lot of people involved in the education, training and employment of young adults. There is a lot of frustration in this sector.
Many of these people are far from being natural Tories and some are very explicitly left wing but the message that I get back is that the UK education system is failing.
Every year we have the argument about the validity and quality of A level A grades. This missed the elephant in the room which is that almost half of the UK's children struggle to the 5 good GCSEs which is the benchmark for educational adequacy.
I talk to many children who haven't got formal qualifications and we don't have an epidemic of stupidity sweeping the nation. So there really is only one place that the blame can fall.
Compared to the nations we are increasingly competing with our education system isn't good enough and to pretend it is is to betray our children. There has been a conspiracy of silence about the failings of much of our education system in which the education establishment and the government have been complicit.
There are of course pockets of true excellence in the private, selective and comprehensive sectors, but quality isn't as wide spread as it should be.
David Cameron and Michael Gove are right to propose a radical shift in the quality, quantity and diversity of education provision. Too few families have any real choice in their childs school, poor teachers cannot be removed and good teachers cannot be properly rewarded.
All this has to change if we are going to give or children the best chance in what is already a tough world stage. But more than this, education is the greatest driver to social mobility, crime reduction and the ability to make choices in later life.
Making teaching an elite profession is a precursor to success, all the new paint and IT suites will not offset a lack of well educated, well motivated, and well rewarded teachers.
We have to be bold, our children deserve nothing less.
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