The Labour Party lacks coherent policies on education, the Shadow Secretary has admitted, as she revealed that she has suffered "sleepless nights" worrying about it since her appointment to the shadow cabinet last July.
Angela Rayner MP, a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, hinted at her frustration with the Labour leader who has failed to outline in any detail how the Party will reform the sector.
After delivering a keynote address to head teachers at the Association of School and College Lecturers annual conference today, Ms Rayner was asked: “When will the opposition party present a coherent vision and policy on education for this country?”
Ms Rayner, the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, responded: “I can tell you that this has been something that has given me sleepless nights since I took over the job.
“Jeremy talked about a national education service and I truly believe that that’s what we need... building and weaving that national education is something that’s truly important to me.”
She added that Labour needs to develop a “cradle-to-grave lifelong learning policy”.
The most substantial policy to have been announced by the Labour Party since Corbyn’s election to the leadership a year and a half ago is what he calls the “national education service”, but few details about the policy or how it will be implemented have since emerged. He has also pledged and arts pupil premium.
Ms Rayner also used her speech to attack grammar schools as a “vanity project” and claimed that “every voice in the education community is united” against them.
Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, was heckled and jeered by head teachers during her speech on Friday as she suggested that grammars raise attainment in disadvantaged children.