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Newcastle upon Tyne Liberal Democrats

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March 11, 2009 12:01 AM

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to cut infant school class sizes to 15 and close the performance gap between children from rich and poor families

The policy was adopted at the party's Spring Conference in Harrogate last weekend.

The plans include:

•Cutting infant class sizes to 15

•Using £2.5bn of additional funding to close the gap between children from rich and poor families

•Scrapping the 600 page national curriculum and replacing it with a slimmed-down minimum curriculum entitlement

•Setting up an independent Education Standards Authority to restore confidence in standards

Ron Beadle, Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle, North, said: "After 12 years of a Labour Government there is still a massive gap between state and private schools, and between the life chances of rich and poor pupils.

"The Liberal Democrats' policies aim to close these gaps to ensure that all children can rely on high quality state-funded education to enable all them to fulfil their potential.

"Our plans would slash class sizes in infant schools - where small class sizes matter most - and boost funding for the children who need it most.

"Our Pupil Premium would bring the funding of the most disadvantaged pupils up to private school levels."