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Very good, again. Today's playground bully is tomorrow's hooded thug.

David articulates a consistent philosophy here. If you look at his drugs policy it is the same. More prison places and a crackdown on drugs, but at the same time more rehab places. Here we see easier exlusions to protect the majority of pupils, AND a better deal for excluded children.

Cameron also applies the 'grammar stream' philosophy of setting by ability by subject to children with special needs - they are not "cookie cutter" babies and their differing ability levels need special ed, both for them and for the other normal children in the classroom.

Good stuff.

David Cameron says good discipline is the key to successful schools - and a political party

And whatever the capital cost we need smaller schools and a half way house might have to be to create federations on one site. To talk of a school of 900 plus pupils as not very big as was suggested in the Sunday Times just recently is completely ludicrous (save relatively - there are far too many which have more than 1500 students). Discipline hasn't a hope otherwise

Wouldn't it have been nice to have this as the headline for the Tory party for today and tomorrow? Fat chance now. This is why unity is needed; it's not about supressing dissent, its about ensuring the party gets positive headlines for the good things that it does, like this.

Good discipline is the key to successful political party but the way in which some are trying to shut down debate is not healthy.

"and not what there for and who think that the answers of todays problems lie in the solutions of the nineteen eighties.
David Cameroon is right to dismiss them as there way is the road to another term of Labopur government and more years of Labour ruining this country and destroying all what most of us love about this country"

Much of this is a rehash...a good rehash... of Tim Collins' excellent school disciplne mini-manifesto published during the last Parliament...with one major exception. What do we do with the excluded pupils who are clearly unsuited for both conventional and special schools (assuming you can find one)??

The Collins policy advocated massive investment to take the number of PRU places from 13k to 24k in a new chain of "Turnaround Schools" to be provided by a mix of LEA/private and voluntary groups. This speech is altogether much more vague about what to do with the inevitably large number of "yobbish" excludees created by the (correct) policy of giving heads complete control over school discipline.

5/10 Needs more application.

Cameron also applies the 'grammar stream' philosophy of setting by ability by subject to children with special needs

That is not Grammar School that is Comprehensive.

Cameron thinks he can instill discipline in inner-city comprehensive schools by renaming them academies....

It is another exercise in futility. You can make silk purses out of sows' ears in Cameronia but not in Real-World UK

Excellent comments on the family and the role it plays in society. This fits in well with IDS' report. Cameron needs to push this agenda more aggressively not just for electoral success but as something he actually believes in.

Same old, same old. What is the man talking about, contracts between schools and parents, what a laugh! When my daughter was at school, at one stage we had to sign a "contract" as she wished to study German for GCSE. At the end of that year the school reneged on the contract, despite the fact that she was doing well. Moral - when politicians talk contracts, run like hell, they're lying.

I suppose the idea was a means to secure parental support. Despite David's comments about the school picking up where the parents have left off, there is very little the school can do without this parental support, school leadership is not the panacea, even the heads I have spoken to say the same. A means to try to secure parental involvement and support is a good thing and deserves our support

Will he be changing the law to allow for disciplinary action to be taken?.
Will he allow teachers and headmasters to exclude disruptive and aggressive pupils?.
Are we back at Grammars, streaming and choice?
Successful schools are schools that can pick parents, i.e. that are not brain dead, have some idea of dragging up their kids, impose discipline on their offspring, have some measure of intelligence so that they can inter-react.
Perhaps what DC should be saying is, that if you cannot prove that you will be a good parent and your kids will be decent citizens and good pupils, who will learn and benefit from an education, then you cannot have kids, or if you do, the state will take then away. A nice touch of 1984 and Brave New World with a soupcon of totaliarianism.

Good Ideas. But:

1) At the moment Heads have to think about the financial consequences of expulsion. The loss of funds for an excluded student can cause problems - they should be allowed to keep this money. If a secondary school excludes 5 students that would add up to £15000.

2) Exclusions are seen as a badge of shame - the numbers for each school are published and can (and do) trigger an OFSTED inspection. LEAs also apply pressure of their own.

In short we need to ensure that when headteachers take action, there is not some form of back-door punishment.

However, some headteachers move too quickly to exclusion and punish for no real reason. We need to have some clear criteria for exclusions.

Don't forget the need to tidy up the DDA. Under the DDA, it is virtually impossible to exclude a child with a "disability". As children with behavioural problems are classed as disabled, this is a problem.

I suspect the Human Right Act will also pose problems.

Could we also see a pledge to exclude students who make false allegations against schools ataff?

Oh come off it, Mr Cameron. Sentiment is fine, but what you are saying could be achieved by a return to the old grammar school system, which you have rejected out of hand and sacked a front bench spokesman for advocating.

Most parents can't afford Eton. Most have to make do with what the state will provide. what the state provides is poor. It could be so much better, but I see no hard policy here to achieve that. As always, all bluster and indignation from DC, without much substance as to how he would change it, and a rejection of the very thing (supported by a huge majority of the party, and I suspect a majority of the country) that would actually help.

"Most parents can't afford Eton"

I must have missed the part where Cameron said this. Got a link?

No David, I don't have a link. The comment was rhetorical. Cameron benefited from a wonderful education, sadly he isn't putting forward policies that, IMHO will mean that others can too.

I am bitter because I am currently contemplating AT LEAST 15 years of debt in order to put my son through a private school, as I have absolutely no faith in the state sector. I am lucky though. I am in a position to be able to (hopefully) finance such debt. I am in that position because I too benefited from a great education - in a grammar school. Our Leader will not extent that opportunity to the majority of people in this country, despite a huge majority of the party being in favour of such and I suspect a smaller majority of the country.

Keep going David. You are making sense and giving us worthwhile goals. But don't forget to remind Brown of his dishonest stealth taxes and pension robbery, and his share of the problems with schools and the NHS. Sometimes you are a bit too cool and even-tempered. Show us a bit more of the fire in your belly.

"The comment was rhetorical"

Ah right, so it's just class envy. You're a member of the Labour party then; Conservatives don't go in for that sort of thing.

Well, if you want to trade personal insults David, that's up to you. I rather hoped that this site was above such pettiness, but there you go.

I don't go in for class envy. I have no problem with people spending their money on giving their kids a better future. I believe in freedom - that includes freedom to spend your money as you want.

As a true Conservative, I also believe in social mobility. I believe in equality of opportunity so that the best can achieve their potential. Most people in this party would agree with that I feel. Likewise, most people in the party would favour grammar schools - it is the best way to achieve these goals. Sadly, Mr Cameron does not share that view.

Why blame David for not promoting grammar schools. Margaret Thatcher didn't continue with opening new grammar schools, nor did the other leaders. The flip side of those grammar schools is the widely available state education system that no one wants. He was trying to support selection in education ensuring that each child gets the type of schooling it needs by promoting academies and special schools for those with physical, social or mental disabilities. I am glad he went to Eton (envy is not one of my failings) and is now giving us the benefit of his well taught and diciplined brains and integrity

"I don't go in for class envy"

Why else raise the point about Eton?

"Sadly, Mr Cameron does not share that view."

Oh, but he does. The re-affirmation of the Conservative Party's 25 year old policy of not creating any more grammar schools was done so in the context of a speech all about trying to help social mobility. Now, one may disagree with the mechanism, but it's total rot to assume, like you do, that Cameron doesn't care since he was all right as he went to Eton.

Any way why are we discussing this today???? Wasn't DC meant to be in Pakistan talking turkey with Mushareff about madrassas, terrorism etc. Hope he didn't get cold feet about being out of the country post Rwanda??

IF Mr Cameron does care, then why is he endorsing a policy (which may be 25 years old, I bow to your greater knowledge) which does not achieve what you claim he belives in, David?

Point raised about Eton was, as I have already stated, rhetorical.

The situation is really rather Blair like - a whole cabinet benefits from free tertiary education, then denies it to the next generation. But then, as we saw with the gushing praise lavished on TB from Cameron at his HOC departure, he clearly has great admiration for the man.

Maintaining discipline in class is so self-evidently crucial for educating young people that proper discussion needs to take place about the possibility of ensuring that the "yob" element does not move up from primary schools into the comprehensives. To do that would require a chain of new special schools to be created but it would probably be worth it in the long run.
Standards could be raised very quickly without huge expense by returning to the very successful grant maintained schools that were immediately abolished by Blair (anyone remember him?) when he came to power.

Once again it all slips into name calling - what about real debate?

Good stuff but without doubt the single most important factor by a mile is how good the head teacher is. With a good head wonders can be worked, with a bad head all hell develops. We need more excellent heads and better rewards for them. Teaching is vital as it is manufacturing our future so it is more than worth every investment. A policy idea to address more and better heads would have the biggest impact on improving education and discipline,


I'd like to see problematic children taken right out of mainsteam education, say for a year at least, then if they have learnt to accept the authority of the school they could return. When I went to school in the 1970s disruptive children were made to stand outside the class until lesson finished. However the next lesson they were back disrupting all over again. Such children need to be taken out of the school completely. The behaviour the exhibit in school is often carried on into adult life. They have to learn, and their parents have to learn, that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Well done Cameron & team, like it all a lot. Also pleased that this is not just some aspirational vision statement type thingy but contains good, solid, sensible measures that would genuinely improve school discipline and so improve our children's educational attainment. Let's have more of this sort of thing please.

Certainly on school discpline I believe the pendulm has swung too far. I was just about to concede it was hard to argue with Cameron until he came out with

"He identified the three key Labour failures saying "in education, the whole country is still suffering from a series of orthodoxies which are a sort of hangover from the 1960s"

Come on David, the Conservatives were in power for half the 70s, all of the 80s and most of the 90s. You can hardly blame 6 years of Labour government in the 60s for all the woes of 40 years later :D

Am I the only person who sees the irony of talking about discipline right now?

The focus of David Cameron's speech was ON HOW TO IMPROVE BEHAVIOUR IN MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS the press release emphasised discipline’s role in successful schools. Is this the only way to attract interest from the bovine media? Improved behaviour is the objective – discipline is but one of the means through which it is pursued.

Perhaps because it is plain to all who wish to see that discipline is not only the biggest problem in our schools but elsewhere too.

Very happy with these proposals, but I agree with Mrs Campbell on the issue of making schools smaller to help achieve this.

Very happy with these proposals, but I agree with Mrs Campbell on the issue of making schools smaller to help achieve this.

Yet PFI schools are getting bigger- 2000+ - and scale is increasing to make the economics feasible. Since few State schools will have 6th Forms in future when the LSCs have changed Post-16 Education - secondary schools will be 11-16 only

I think DC's suggestions were good, as far as they went, and it's a pity this was overshadowed.

David, you are definitely not the only one seeing the irony there.

Sounds ever so nice but I see there are serious proposals to remove the dead hand of the state from the schools either in its centralized or localized version. Academies are no good as they are - their existence depends on the LEA's approval. How much control indiviudal schools will have over discipline and curriculum? How much control will parents have? Most parents are not brain dead and want the best for their children. So, what is David Cameron proposing? Those ridiculous contracts that mean nothing? What about suggesting that the Conservatives might look at a vouchers that will take in the whole of the school system not just the designated schools? The man should have been a Tory in the fifties - we can manage socialism better than the Labour Party.

Sorry, that should have been "There are no serious proposals to remove the dead hand of the state .... "


How much of our Education policy have you actually read? You were right the first time - there are serious proposals to remove the dead hand". The policy of allowing groups to set up schools, the independence of charter type schools, of academies. As for vouchers the policy of funding following pupils is vouchers in all but name.

The speech is all about independence in discipline or individual schools.

Instead of the usual attack on anything Cameron says, why not for a change read with an open mind and think through what it implies.

Suggest you read the comment piece in the Independent (not a paper noted for pro-Tory views)


I have first hand knowledge of this experience. I have chaired the Exclusion Panel in a Local High School for over 20 years.

I have always been dismayed at the decision I had to make to exclude a child. Yes, you cannot allow one child to upset the school and the Educational System i.e. the staff and 99.9% of children. However, I have in every case felt guilty that I excluded the child into the arms of the Drug Barons and the wealth of abuse that lies out there.

I have been concerned over the years that we are not addressing the “beyond” as I see it for these children.

Teachers get frustrated and are at their wits end to exclude these children. They often welcome the Appeal on the grounds that yet another “discipline” will take up the case.

It is very unfortunate that there often is no other “Discipline”.

I will be happy to share my experiences with you.
Cllr. Lurline Champagnie

The policy of allowing groups to set up schools

You can do that now....most Muslim Schools in Britain are private...and lots are being founded.

There are even some private Christian Schools....

So what is new ? Groups have always been able to set up schools.

The problem comes when The State decrees that if they want any State funding or relief from Business Rates they MUST subject their admissions policies to Government/LEA approval.....that is the problem.

Cameron/Willetts have said there can be NO SELECTION on anything but Race or Catchment.......and so these groups that are "allowed" to act freely in a free society become controlled by The State.......exactly the point Helen was trying to make


If those schools are to be independent and the money will follow children to any school - so far the Tories have always maintained that vouchers by any name should apply to the state sector only - then what business is it of politicians to proclaim about discipline. That will be left to schools, heads, governing bodies and parents. The fact that these statements are made would indicate that Cameron does envisage that dead hand of state well in place.

I think we have to be realistic. Of course we could and should devolve powers to schools but we would have to have some expectations of what all schools should be achieving and discipline would be a key part of that.


Helen @ 15.38:

"That will be left to schools, heads, governing bodies and parents".

That is the essence of the grant maintained schools that Blair did away with when he came to power. Funds were given direct to the schools and standards rose as the schools managed themselves, as independent schools do.

The simplest way to make a difference with no great upheaval or extra cost is to bring back GM schools.

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