A Conservative Government would undertake a wholesale review of the National Curriculum in England, leader Michael Howard said yesterday.
The review, to begin in the first month of a Tory administration, would be carried out by former chief inspector of schools Chris Woodhead, Mr Howard said.
The National Curriculum would be slimmed down, he said, and "political correctness" would be rooted out. GCSEs and A levels would also fall under the remit of the review.
In a speech to the Welsh Conservatives' conference at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Mr Howard said: "A Conservative Government will, in its first month, start a top to bottom review of the national curriculum.
"We'll slim it down so teachers don't have so much paperwork. We'll review tests, GCSEs and A Levels to restore public confidence in our education system.
"And we'll root out political correctness, replacing it with the building blocks of knowledge that are essential to give every child their birthright: a decent education."
Mr Woodhead had been an "indefatigable champion of higher standards and less political correctness in our schools" for many years, Mr Howard said.
Mr Howard said political correctness had taken over too many aspects of education.
"The problem, as I see it, is that our education system has been engulfed by a tide of political correctness.
"The rights culture, the "all must have prizes" culture, the culture that blurs the difference between right and wrong. All this has undermined teachers' authority in our classrooms and standards in our schools.
"It's wrong to pretend that children are adults - they don't always know what's right for them."
Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said: "It says everything that Michael Howard's speech on schools does not mention once his central proposal to cut funding from state schools, nor his attitude to Labour's help for children and parents in the early years.
"Michael Howard has committed to cut at least £1 billion from state schools to subsidise private education. Cuts from state schools for everyone to subsidise the private education of a few.
"Making a speech on Mother's Day, Michael Howard also failed to mention he would scrap our expansion of Sure Start centres.
"John Redwood's comments yesterday confirmed that these immediate Tory cuts were just a 'downpayment' on bigger and deeper cuts.
"The only guaranteed cut you will get from the Tories is a cut of £35 billion from public spending. Cuts on this scale that could only be found through cuts to schools, hospitals, the police and vital public services. Michael Howard must answer where these cuts will fall."