John Blake: 'On the surface, Labour's manifesto education commitments could even be a bit Blairite, but dig a little deeper'

The Labour manifesto might claim to be setting out a roadmap towards a National Education Service, but it needs rather more landmarks than the slightly ambiguous document provides, writes a former teacher and policy writer.


Ambiguous radicalism is the tone of Labour’s proposals in the manifesto published yesterday: there is not actually much in it, on education at least, that would have looked glaringly out of place in a New Labour manifesto.


Indeed, the document even doffs its cap to its predecessor government’s educational programme with a reference to “examples of best practice, such as Labour’s London Challenge”. Although good luck sharing London Challenge’s best practice: no educational conference is complete without a reference to how successful London Challenge was, nor without at least 95 conflicting explanations for why this should have been, and its impact has yet to be replicated elsewhere.


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