TONY Blair defended his controversial school reforms during a grilling by senior politicians including Huddersfield's MP.
Barry Sheerman was among select committee chairman who quizzed the Prime Minister.
He challenged Mr Blair on how plans to reform secondary education will help the most disadvantaged children.
Mr Sheerman asked the Prime Minister: "The question is whether these reforms will help children from disadvantaged backgrounds that are currently being failed by our education system.
"This is the basis on which the Government's proposals will be judged."
In reply at the Commons liaison committee, he said far too many children from disadvantaged backgrounds failed their exams.
"We have seen through the City Academies, through the CTCs (City Technology Colleges), through the specialist schools, that encouraging external partners, giving the school greater freedoms can help.
"Let's build on it and drive it through the whole system," he said.
Asked if he was neglecting simpler remedies such as the quality of classroom teaching, Mr Blair replied: "Reforms are a means to an end, they are not an end in themselves.
"The reason why we want to introduce these freedoms in schools is not because in themselves these are the things that matter, but because the evidence is that helps change what happens in the classroom.
"And, of course, what happens in the classroom is what determines whether a child gets a decent education or not.
"School results have improved significantly in the last eight years or so, but they have not improved enough."