Blair promised a lot on education and, to be fair, delivered much (especially during David Blunkett’s tenure in the Department for Education).
Between 1997 and 2007 funding per pupil went up by 48 per cent, there were 35,000 more teachers in classrooms, overall class sizes went down, there were 172,000 more teaching assistants, and teachers were paid (on average) 18 per cent more. More than 1,000 new schools opened, and many more received additional funding for improvements to classrooms. Extra resources were put into Early Years education (including Sure Start). And it was Blair’s government that built on the empowering of Ofsted to make it an inspectorate that increasingly made schools, and their leaders, accountable.