Cambel Speech (ii) - Us, Together
Mary Cambel, Conservative Leadership candidate, gave a speech to members at the Tory Reform Group.
"Good evening, thank you all for coming.
In an ever increasingly interconnected system of enhanced cooperation and competition, we need to be providing the students of today and tomorrow with the brightest chances, and opportunities, so that they can get ahead in our world. When we look at what British students have had to offer the world, it is an impressive list. We have been pioneers in cutting edge science, technology, mathematics, music, anthropology - we have benefited this world disproportionately when compared to other countries. I know that it is the world class teaching and training that is giving our students an advantage.
Part of what has made British students so successful, both at home and abroad, is our commitment to language learning. As Conservative leader, I pledge to launch a new strategy to promote bilingualism. The International Education and Business Strategy will seek to marry business, training and skills with a new bilingual class of British students. We live in an age where businesses and economic power is increasingly shifting East, and I believe that we should aim to produce generations that have the chance to work with this change. The IEBS will allow students access to new wide ranging language opportunities, including Mandarin - a language spoken by over a billion people worldwide. According to official statistics, only 2,541 students took a GCSE in Mandarin in 2012, compared with 3,650 in 2010. If we are to boost confidence in the UK and ensure our country remains the hub of choice for global business, we need to teach and provide opportunities for our younger generation to learn languages like Mandarin.We will aim to work hand in hand with foreign governments to train up native speakers to the standard of British teaching, so that they can unlock the potential our students have. We will initially allocate £150 million for this programme, and will look at expanding it over time, so that the needs of tomorrow’s businessmen and women can be met today.
The last three years have seen the beginnings of the Academies Revolution. I pledge to carry this through. I don’t accept that failing schools should simply be allowed to coast, and we should be ensuring that when there is a problem - we fix it. Academies offer the solution to a system that doesn’t always provide the same standard of quality education that we all aspire to deliver. By guaranteeing local control, for headteachers and parents, we can give those who know the situation on the ground the power they need to ensure schools work for their students. With more than two million students now attending academies, it is a scheme that is working. Academy status makes it far easier to put in place better teaching, leadership, curriculums and creates local accountability - leads to better standards in the short and long term.
But we need to also ensure that the system as it stands works for every student. I am under no false impressions, GCSEs and A-Level essay based exams do not inherently work for everyone that sits them, so as Prime Minister, I will initiate a review into the GCSE and GCE systems within the first year of office. I firmly believe that our education system only works if everyone can benefit from it, and so exams should reflect the differing work abilities of students.
I will end this campaign with a particular message to you - the loyal party members who have stood by this party through thick and thin. After 13 years in opposition David Cameron was the man who took us back into government. He has done an exceptional job. I want to continue where he left off and finish what we started. With the policies I have stood on in my campaign, from strong national defence, to helping the poorest, to an NHS that will receive massive additional investment, and a guarantee that the deficit will close by 2018, I am confident that we can continue to improve the lives of every person in this country. I believe we can become the enterprise capital of the world, which encourages new and ambition business. I believe that the United Kingdom should, and will, stay together as a family. I believe that people should have a right to feel safe in our country, which is why we need additional measures to fight extremism and to protect UK citizens online from radicalisation. We are coming towards the midpoint of the decade, a defining decade where we live in unknown times.
As leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, I will fight for a country that works for all of us, and we can achieve it - together.
MP for South East Cornwall
Again, total disclaimer: leadership elections have been and gone so we already have a rough idea how everyone's campaigns went.
Like I've said to other candidates, even if it's your comfort zone preaching to the choir doesn't do much for you momentum wise. Are the TRG Cambel's choir? Well, ambiguously positioning herself, debatably a bit, but not as much as it would be her opponents (Horncastle, notably). And you go into that territory well - education is an interesting thing to push on, and you hit all the right notes for your audience (especially by not mentioning those pesky grammar schools, which Tory centrists tend to be much more iffy on).