Clegg Has Doubts about Local Schools

Standards too low at 'big and alienating' secondaries

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The Putney based leader of the Liberal Democrats has expressed concern about the quality of local state secondary schools. Nick Clegg told delegates at his party's conference that he found the local state schools 'big and alienating' and he was concerned about standards. He would not rule out 'dipping into his pocket' for private education. He said, "I am not holding my children's future and education hostage to a game of political football,"

Mr Clegg said of local state schools, "There is clearly a problem with London. There is this cliff edge where a lot of committed, aspirant parents who are happy to send their children to primary school then flee in large numbers from the state sector at secondary level."

He currently has two sons who attended a state primary and his wife Miriam is due to have another child in February. He told conference that he would be taking paternity leave when the child is born because combining politics and parenthood left him "constantly knackered".

He recently was quoted as saying that the credit crunch was hitting him hard particularly after his discounted deal on the mortgage on his Putney property expired forcing him to consider giving up Ocado for Sainsbury's.

September 18, 2008