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Michael Gove vows to break down education's 'Berlin Wall'

Education Secretary Michael Gove is vowing to break down the "Berlin Wall" between state and private schools in education. In a keynote speech today, Mr Gove said state schools were no longer 'bog standard'.

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Michael Gove speech: the key points

Education Secretary Michael Gove said he wants state schools to become indistinguishable from private schools in a speech in East London, with a focus on more rigorous testing, increased power and freedom for teachers and longer school days.

  • He called for more testing, including taking the common entrance exam by 13 year olds in some private schools. Gove also backed plans for individual secondary schools to be able to take the OECD's international Pisa tests.
  • Head teachers need to be granted more power to search pupils and "to discipline pupils for behaviour beyond the school gates," he said. Teachers should also be free to give same day detentions to students who misbehave without giving parents notice.
  • State schools should introduce longer school days and replicate the independent school model where pupils spend nine or 10 hours at school a day, making more time for after curricular activities and study sessions.

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