Cameron eyes ‘schools revolution’

The Conservatives are considering forcing failing children to retake their final year of primary school if their educational attainment is not deemed sufficient.

Party leader David Cameron said he believed the idea was worth considering in an article in today’s Sunday Telegraph, ahead of the public services policy review group reporting back later this week.

Mr Cameron said teachers should be given more freedom from what he described as oppressive government controls and suggested paying schools more to take on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Labour’s obsessive micro-management and rigid attachment to old-fashioned ideas has entrenched deprivation, shut doors and closed minds,” he wrote.

“We need a new approach: one that offers real hope and opportunity; harnesses aspiration and opens minds; and gives children from poor backgrounds the chance to get on in life.”

The article comes as Conservative MP John Redwood said Mr Cameron was regaining the political agenda after prime minister Gordon Brown’s honeymoon period as leader.

Speaking on GMTV’s Sunday Programme, Mr Redwood said his leader was in “extremely good voice” and had “set out some very good policies”.

As such, the Brown bounce was “getting lower” and Mr Redwood said the Tory leader had begun to close the gap in the polls.

A YouGov poll published in the Telegraph last week revealed the Conservatives had cut Labour’s lead from nine to eight points in August.