Michael Gove will vow to end illiteracy within a generation

Jun 7, 2014

Education secretary bids to raise standards 'higher than ever before'

Michael Gove is set to promise to end illiteracy and innumeracy within a generation.

In a speech to a think tank, the education secretary, who is pressing for the bold commitment to be included in the next Conservative Party manifesto, will reveal his plans to save lives that he says are “wasted” due to a lack of basic skills.

Around 15% of children leave primary school in England without basic levels of reading, writing and maths. Gove will tell the Policy Exchange: “Children only have one chance at education. We can't let them miss out on its transformative effect.”

The Times says that Gove’s strategy to make sure all children read and write is set to be included in a draft of the manifesto submitted to David Cameron by the Downing Street policy unit head Jo Johnson.

The controversial cabinet minister will also warn parents that they will face punishments if they fail to ensure their children arrive at school "ready to learn and showing respect for their teacher".

He will add: "We need to ensure that those parents who don't play their part in ensuring their children attend school, ready to learn and showing respect for their teacher, face up to their responsibilities.”

Gove says both his parents were forced to leave school at the age of 15 and that he spent the first four months of his life in care. “I know what setting children up to fail looks like,” he will say.


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