Lord Heseltine was speaking at an ‘Urbanisation and Cities’ event during the International Business Festival in Liverpool, which 27,000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend over the next couple of weeks. Liverpool Business News reports.
He told the audience at Exhibition Centre Liverpool that education was the key reinvigorating communities. He said: “At the heart of everything lies education – if we can educate people then we can liberate them.
“Many schools are a disgrace. We are 29th in the global league table of educational standards and that is simply not good enough. We have great schools and great universities but it is the trailing edge that holds back our economy.”
Lord Heseltine’s address followed a panel discussion in front of the audience which included a number of elected regional Mayors from across England. Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester Metro Mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham took part.
And Lord Heseltine urged them to involve themselves in the education agenda even though it was strictly outside the remit set down by Government.
He added: “That doesn’t matter. They should be picking up the phone anyway and demanding to know what it going on in the schools.”
“You can have any mix of face, class or income but you can still see great achievement in schools with greats heads and great teachers. Replicating those models in all schools is the great challenge of our time – it is fundamental in a competitive world.”
In his speech on Wednesday he again railed against the idea of Government-knows-best centralism.
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