UK Labour’s Burnham Says Cameron is a ‘Crook,’ Wants Overhaul

Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary for Education in Britain, came out swinging at the latest Labour Party Conference, saying that Prime Minster David Cameron is a crook and his Education Secretary Michael Gove is out of step with the times, The Telegraph reports. Burnham delivered a blistering assessment of the current government’s attempts at fixing education in Britain and added that Cameron broke his promise to Britain’s youth when he eliminated the Education Maintenance Allowance as part of his austerity plans.

The Education Secretary Michael Gove also came in for criticism for what Mr Burnham described as “throwing money at his favoured schools, free schools, and academies and treating the rest as if they don’t matter.”

Burnham had some criticism for his own party as well. He said that Labour wasn’t giving enough attention to students who chose not go on to the university after graduation from school. He proposed setting up a system of apprenticeships so that young people can learn a trade quicker and more efficiently.

Burnham is also planning to use the platform afforded by the Party Conference to unveil Labour’s response to the Coalition’s English Baccalaureate, which will focus on subjects like computers, mathematics, business and engineering. The plan, known as Modern Baccalaureate or ModBac, will add a practical component to the school graduation requirements by offering students honors for enterprising activities.

“We [need to] give young people the qualities they need to succeed in this century: communication skills, leadership skills, the ability to be resourceful, adaptable, because they’re going to have 10 to 15 jobs in a way that their parents or grandparents never did,” he will tell the conference.

The ModBac is based on a system already implemented at a school in Hull which has an honors program for students who pass eight GSCE subjects including academic staples like mathematics and English and those with more modern applications like information and communication technology. The program’s designer, Andrew Chubb, is scheduled to speak at the conference in the support of ModBac.