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'Girls?!: Nicky Morgan unimpressed by photographer

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan was unimpressed by a photographer's attempt to get her attention as she left a pre-Budget Cabinet meeting this morning.

The photographer shouted, "Morning girls" as Ms Morgan departed Downing Street alongside Energy Secretary Amber Rudd.

"Girls?! Girls?!" the Education Secretary replied, prompting laughter from the assembled media pack.


Education Secretary: Pupils must recite tables by 11

All schoolchildren in England will be forced to learn their times tables off by heart as well as carry out long division and complex multiplication by the age of 11, the Education Secretary has announced.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan wants primary school pupils to face tough tests on maths and English. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA

Pupils will be expected to pass tough tests before leaving primary school as part of a "war on illiteracy and innumeracy", Nicky Morgan said.

Headteachers who fail to ensure the standards are met face being sacked if the Conservatives are returned to power, she indicated.

As well as demonstrating mathematical skills, pupils will have to pass a writing test by showing they can use "accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar".

In an article for The Sunday Times (£), Ms Morgan outlined plans to make England top of the class in European league tables for English and maths by 2020, as well as in the top five internationally - a significant leap from the current ranking of 23rd.

She said: "We will expect every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart, to perform long division and complex multiplication and to be able to read a novel.

"They should be able to write a short story with accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar. The new tests for 11 year olds we are introducing next year will be strengthened to ensure that every young person is meeting the mark."

Fifa hierarchy need to 'think about their positions'

The Conservative MP for Loughborough has said that those at the top of Fifa's governing body need "to think about their positions," in the wake of corruption claims during 2022 World Cup bidding.

Nicky Morgan MP, told Sky News' Murnaghan show that she "welcomes the investigation and it's right that the spotlight is shown on it".

Nicky Morgan MP does think that those at the top of Fifa should 'think about their positions' Credit: Sky News/Murnaghan

She said: "The Prime Minister as well as Prince William made the case for England to host the World Cup.

"Its quite galling to think that its money that's talking and not the quality of the bid itself."

Asked if Fifa president Sepp Blatter should resign, she said: "Lets get to the bottom of this first. But yes. Clearly those at the top need to think about their positions."

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