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Britain Unveils Education Reform Proposals

British officials have unveiled a set of proposed education reforms that would include allowing schools greater autonomy.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly expressed confidence Tuesday that ruling Labor Party lawmakers will support the proposals. Some Labor members have said they fear the changes would increase the divide between good schools and troubled ones.

The plan under discussion would give British schools more opportunity to run their own affairs through partnerships with companies, charities, religious groups and parents organizations. It also would bar schools from interviewing prospective students to stop them from selecting pupils on academic ability. And it would give failing schools only one year to make improvements before possible closure.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has urged adoption of the changes.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.