Government considers initiative to raise standards in UK schools

By Our Parliamentary Correspondent,, Friday, 14 November 1997 12:00AM

The Government is considering a campaign to promote Tony Blair’s crusade to raise standards in Britain’s schools.

The Government is considering a campaign to promote Tony Blair’s

crusade to raise standards in Britain’s schools.

The Department for Education and Employment is reviewing its

communications strategy in the light of the pledge by ministers to show

’zero tolerance’ of underperformance in schools.

The planned campaign is expected to include mobilising parents to become

more involved in schools and recognise their vital role in helping their

children in areas such as reading. It could promote the National Year of

Reading to run from next September. The drive would also aim to promote

’good practice’ among schools and teachers.

Sources say the review is at its early stages and that a decision about

the role of advertising has not yet been taken. It will be completed in

the new year.

However, it is believed that a pitch would be held if the campaign goes

ahead. Although DMB&B is retained as the DFEE’s agency, its work has so

far concentrated on employment rather than educational initiatives.

Another shop which might be in the running is Delaney Fletcher Bozell,

which is running a teacher recruitment campaign for the Teacher Training


If the campaign goes ahead it could help the DFEE become one of

Whitehall’s big spenders on ads. It is already planning to spend up to

pounds 12 million over the next two years to promote the Government’s

flagship Welfare to Work programme.

Although any ads would be ’informational’, the proposed campaign could

prove politically controversial.

Education is one of Blair’s top priorities and the DFEE has already set

up an effectiveness unit to ’carry the crusade’ to raise standards in

every part of the education service. Ministers have promised to make the

DFEE ’more outward looking and in touch’ with the service.

This article was first published on


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