Former pupil Ed Miliband returns to Haverstock School to outline Labour's vision for education
PUBLISHED: 16:36 12 February 2015 | UPDATED: 19:12 12 February 2015
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Labour leader Ed Miliband returned to his old Camden secondary school to set out his party’s plans for education should they be elected to power in May.
Mr Miliband took centre stage at Haverstock School last Thursday to outline Labour’s vision for education to a packed hall at the school in Haverstock Hill, Chalk Farm.
Among the key policies announced by Mr Miliband was a pledge to limit primary school classes in England to no more than 30 pupils if Labour gains power in May.
He said the party would create thousands of new school places - including in popular over-subscribed schools - enabling it to cap class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds.
Mr Miliband said: “I’m proud to be standing here at Haverstock, a school rebuilt because of a Labour government’s commitment to education
“Our future prosperity depends on our young people and we must not let them down. They are the best investment we will ever make.”
The Labour leader, who was introduced to the audience last week by Haverstock headteacher John Dowd, was joined at the school by shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and Sir Keir Starmer, parliamentary candidate for Holborn and St Pancras.
During his speech, Mr Miliband insisted a Labour government would move away from the “Gove era” and “stop denigrating the teaching profession”.
He also promised to “redress this government’s attempts to downgrade creative subjects like drama, art and design and technology”, while announcing plans for a “revolution in apprenticeships” and a “gold standard technical baccalaureate”.
Under a Labour government, he said schools spending would “rise by at least the rate of inflation”.
Addressing pupils at Haverstock, he said: “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve what you want to achieve. The great thing about Haverstock was it said, ‘You can reach for the stars.’
“I grew up in a pretty well-to-do family. My family were immigrants who fled from the Nazis and if they [had been told] I would be standing on this stage today, they would never have believed it.