Policy Guide: Education
The five main parties in the general election have various policies on education. This is where I will set out what their main objectives are.
LABOUR– Their plan includes reforming early years education, making all 2-4 year olds entitled to 30 hours of free preschool per week. They also aim to extend childcare provision for 1 year olds and ensure it accommodates the working pattern of parents. Also, that schools are properly resourced with long-term funding and making the funding formula fairer. They aim to invest to upgrade schools in disrepair. They want to ensure pupils are taught by qualified teacher and primary school classes are no bigger than 30. They also aim to fund more non-contact time for teachers to prepare and plan.
They aim to scrap Ofsted and replace it with a new body, and also have a teacher supply service to help maintain high quality teachers. They will also provide free school meals and cover uniform costs. Furthermore, they aim to abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants as well as Education Maintenance Allowance for post 16 year-olds. They promise to rethink the assessment of research and teaching quality of universities to use across the system.
CONSERVATIVES– Their plan is to invest an extra £14 billion in funding for schools, which include at least £5,000 a year for each secondary school pupil and at least £4,000 for each primary school pupil. This also includes £780 million funding to support children with Special Educational Needs next year alone. They’re also raising teachers’ starting salaries to £30k to attract the best talent. They plan to back heads and teachers on discipline. They believe that Ofsted inspection serves a valuable purpose. Also, they will continue to help teachers tackle bullying, including homophobic bullying. They plan to build more free schools and continue to do everything they can to ensure every school is great.
Furthermore, they plan to expand ‘alternative provision’ schools for those who have been excluded and deliver more school places for children with complex Special Educational Needs. They will intervene in underperforming schools and continue to ensure that parents can choose the schools that best suit their children. They also pledge to will invest in arts, music & sport, and will offer an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools to fund enriching activities for all pupils, whilst retaining commitment to the core subjects. They will also invest in primary school PE teaching help schools make good use of their sports facilities and to promote physical literacy and competitive sport.to ensure children are getting an active start to life
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS– Their plan includes delivering free, high-quality childcare from age nine months for the children of working parents, and for all children between 2-4, as well as investing in nurseries and Children’s Centres. They will also try to reverse cuts to school funding, allowing schools to employ an extra 20,000 teachers, and end the crisis in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities funding. They will oppose future expansions of grammar schools and make local schools more accountable. Also, They plan to make sure that teachers are paid a fair wage.
The Lib Dems promise to extend free school meals to all children in primary school, tackle bullying and train staff to identify mental health issues in order to allow children and families to be in the best position to learn. The Lib Dems plan to invest in subjects such as arts, media and sport. Furthermore, they plan to protect universities, invest in further education and help children from poorer families stay in education and/or training by introducing a ‘young people’s premium’.
GREEN PARTY– They pledge to relieve the financial squeeze on schools by investing at least £4billion per year. Also, to focus reducing class sizes to under 20 to help teachers focus on individual pupil needs. Plus, freeing schools from centrally imposed testing regimes, Ofsted inspections, a rigid national curriculum and league tables. Teachers will be trusted to plan lessons and assess progress according the needs of their pupils, not to meet one-size-fits-all measurements. They say that under them, formal education will start at 6 years, allowing young children to develop at their own pace. Those under 6 will remain in early years education, with a focus on play-based learning and access to nature.
Strengthen the link between schools and the communities they serve, by ending academisation and bringing all schools back into the control of local councils, not private companies, and empowering local them with the responsibility and accountability for education within their communities. They also plan to Replace Ofsted with a collaborative system of assessing and supporting schools locally. They also promise to fully fund every higher education student and scrap undergraduate tuition fees and to write off existing debt for former students who studied under the £9k tuition fee regime.
BREXIT PARTY – Their plans on education have been very minimally released as the party’s main focus is securing the best possible Brexit for the United Kingdom, however the party promises to abolish both student loan interest and the target to push 50% of young people into Higher Education. They also say that they will help “expand parental choice” when it comes to schools,
The election is scheduled for Thursday, December 12, with polling stations opening at 7am and closing at 10pm. The results are due to be announced in the early hours of Friday, December 13.