Magazine article Public Finance

Balls' L1bn Children's Plan Welcomed

Magazine article Public Finance

Balls' L1bn Children's Plan Welcomed

Article excerpt

The government's £1bn ten-year Children's Plan, setting out a strategy for education, welfare and play in England, has received a cautious welcome from education professionals.

Outlining the proposals on December 11, Children's Secretary Ed Balls said the aim was to make the country 'the best place in the world to grow up'. The plan includes changes to the primary school curriculum and the possible end of the Sats tests by 2009.

The wide-ranging scheme also promises a £225m investment in 3,500 new playgrounds, with another £160m to develop youth facilities over the next two years; flexible school starts for children born in the summer; and more information for parents about their children's progress at school.

'For children in their early teenage years, supervised adventure play is great As young children go into their teenage years, we have got to invest in youth services,' Balls said.

The government also wants to make teaching a postgraduate-level profession, and will encourage all new teachers to study for a master's degree.

There will be a 'root-and-branch' review of the primary school curriculum, including making modern languages compulsory. …

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