Boris Johnson has unveiled a series of plans that would give City Hall a greater voice in the provision of education within the capital.
Although the Mayor has a statutory requirement to promote workplace skills and employment, he currently has no formal role in London’s education system.
Under the Mayor’s plans a new London Schools Excellence Fund would promote teaching excellence, especially in key areas such as literacy and numeracy, science, technology, engineering and maths.
The fund already has the tentative backing of the Department for Education.
Other plans include setting up a New Schools for London unit to work with the DfE and London’s boroughs to identify sites for free schools, a new London Curriculum and creating an annual Gold Club to celebrate success in schools.
Unveiling his proposals, Mayor Johnson said: ‘I want our youngsters to aspire to the highest echelons and be inspired to be the best they can be. That’s why I will use the resources available to us to enable more free schools to be built across the capital.
“We should also maximise the potential of London’s cultural and historical assets to strengthen the curriculum in our schools.”
The Mayor’s plans were informed by the final report of an independent inquiry he set-up to look at the future of education in the capital. City Hall says Mr Johnson will work with the DfE, boroughs and other stakeholders to deliver 12 recommendations from the report.
Dr Tony Sewell, chair of the inquiry, said the report represented “an education blueprint for a generation to meet the social, cultural and economic demands of a world leading capital.”
Len Duvall, Leader of the London Assembly Labour group, welcomed the Mayor’s proposals but warned Mr Johnson had said “very little about how they will be delivered or how they will be paid for.”
Referring to City Hall imposed cuts to the police and fire budgets, and questions surrounding funding for other policies, Mr Duvall added: “I fear that yet again Boris is over-promising and will under-deliver.”