Principal Laraine Smith (wearing pink) is pictured with the other independent panel members for the Education Inquiry commissioned by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.An education plan by The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been launched on the back of recommendations by an independent panel which included Uxbridge College Principal Laraine Smith.Ms Smith was part of the panel selected

education-inquiry-panel-434Principal Laraine Smith (wearing pink) is pictured with the other independent panel members for the Education Inquiry commissioned by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.An education plan by The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has been launched on the back of recommendations by an independent panel which included Uxbridge College Principal Laraine Smith.

Ms Smith was part of the panel selected to conduct the Mayor’s Education Inquiry, which resulted in 12 recommendations and was launched on Friday 19 October. Her work included considering how best to prepare young people to enter work when they leave education – she took a lead role in discussions on this subject.

The plans by Boris Johnson based on the report are designed to drive up standards in education in the capital. They include securing new sites for more free schools to be set up in the capital, the establishment of a new fund to boost excellence in teaching, and the creation of a new 'London Curriculum' aimed at inspiring young Londoners to develop deeper learning in their fields of study.

Ms Smith said: “It was a real privilege to be part of this work by The Mayor of London to help create better opportunities for young people – which is exactly what we are doing at Uxbridge College.

“As a panel member I was very pleased to be involved in plans which may affect the futures of many young people, and it was also good to see how a number of the strategic viewpoints expressed reflected Uxbridge College’s.

“In particular, it was considered vital to prepare young people for work by offering the right teaching and support in relation to the subjects employers value most, which include science, maths, engineering, technology subjects, and modern languages. Good advice and information about careers and education options was also considered a priority.

“Promoting partnerships between schools, colleges, universities and businesses is also key to the panel’s recommendations in relation to preparing young people for work.”

As a panel member, Ms Smith contributed to a series of meetings and workshops starting in January, and was involved in the call for evidence which included written submissions from interested parties, and face-to-face conference style meetings with various stakeholders.

Her contributions offered a college perspective on opportunities to create the best possible future for young people in primary and secondary schools.

She took a lead role on a sub-group considering the theme of 'Preparing Young Londoners for Life and Work in a Global City'.

Mr Johnson said: “Every single London child deserves a good education. Though many schools and teachers are doing a sterling job, it is a tragedy that so many of our youngsters are leaving school without the skills they need to get on in life. With 90,000 more high quality school places needed by 2016 and employers and universities demanding high calibre people with the relevant abilities and qualifications to compete at a global level, we need cutting edge ideas to make London a world leader in education by 2020.”

The Mayor will now work with partners, including schools and teachers, parent groups, the boroughs and the Department for Education to take forward 12 recommendations outlined in the Education Inquiry's final report.

The panel was chaired by the education commentator, former teacher and CEO of Generating Genius, Dr Tony Sewell, and the Inquiry panel consulted widely to build a comprehensive analysis of education in the capital, as well as making a number of recommendations to promote excellent teaching in all London schools.

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