David Cameron launches mentoring programme and praises Tiger Mothers

The BBC is reporting that David Cameron has promised an “all-out assault on poverty” with a series of social reforms to include mentoring schemes for pupils at risk of dropping out of school.

Extract from David Cameron speech (source gov.uk)

Extract from David Cameron’s speech (from gov.uk)


..Mr Cameron defended controversial education reforms, and praised “Tiger Mothers” who pushed children to succeed.

It was “the precise opposite of the ‘all must have prizes’ culture”, he said, insisting that “children thrive on high expectation”.

Setting out what he called a “lifecycle approach” at the charity Family Action in north London, Mr Cameron said many people now experienced “paucity of opportunity” rather than material poverty – although he acknowledged some of the latter did still exist.

Reforms would focus on four key areas – family life and early years; education; equal opportunity; and treatable problems such as mental health and addiction.

Improving family life was “the best anti-poverty measure ever”, he said, promising to double funding for relationship counselling to £70m over the next five years…

..On improving opportunities for all, he promised £70m for a mentoring scheme targeting pupils at risk of dropping out of school, and plans to spend £140m to tear down “brutal” housing estates in England which he said “design crime in, rather than design crime out”.

Mr Cameron also used his speech to promise action on “treatable problems”, including mental illnesses and addiction…

Calling for a “more mature” conversation about mental health, he said new mothers and teenagers with anorexia would be among those to benefit from £1bn extra cash that was allocated in the Autumn Statement…

More at David Cameron pledges ‘assault on poverty’ with social reforms


Read David Cameron’s speech in full at: Prime Minister’s speech on life chances


See more on the mentoring initiative directly from the DfE at: Prime minister to announce new generation of mentors to help struggling teens


What do you make, in particular, of the education related initiatives and in this announcement from the prime minister?

And what of his comments on pushy parents and high expectations?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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  1. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove They don’t need mentors: they need to stop having their lives put on hold by the Platonist farce of school.

  2. Clueless.  Careers Education and Guidance, already in tatters, will not be improved solely by getting employers to act as mentors.  CEG is the focus of an inquiry by the Education Select Committee (deadline 20 January).  Perhaps it would have been better for the PM to wait until the Select Committee had reported.
    But, no, he wants to get his opinion out there first just in case the Select Committee points out how employer involvement in CEG alone is not the answer.  But re-introducing an updated version of the Technical and Vocational Education Initiative (TVEI) which successfully raised the profile of vocational education (of which CEG is a part) might do it.

  3. clivetaylor915

    If he focussed on making all schools good instead of dogmatic structural tinkering he might not have the problem.

  4. clivetaylor915 SchoolsImprove The PM allowed Gove to diminish the importance of work experience and now complains about some pupils not getting any.  I’ve written about it in more detail here: http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/01/work-experience-is-transformative-says-pm-so-why-did-he-allow-gove-to-make-it-non-mandatory/

  5. Many of the claims re education in the PM’s speech were misleading.  See http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2016/01/work-experience-is-transformative-says-pm-so-why-did-he-allow-gove-to-make-it-non-mandatory/

  6. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove We know it, but it’s as carefully shielded from the electorate as Muslim rape gangs, Labour sex-segregated election meets &c

  7. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove mentoring is a good idea. VT schools should be doing this if they truly understand VT. Tiger mums R only good for tiger cubs

Let us know what you think...