Check Out The 3 Main Political Party’s Education Policies

Do you know who you’re voting for on the 12th December in the General Election? If not, this blog seeks to provide some insight into the 3 main political party’s education policies taken from their manifestos.

The Conservative Party.

Boris Johnson and his Conservative party have stated that as Conservatives, they believe in equality of opportunity. This means that every child, in every part of the country, should have a fair chance. As a result, the UK’s full potential can be unleashed and will help to create a fair and just society.

Investment…

In his first months in office, Boris Johnson announced an extra £14 billion in funding for schools. That translates to £150 million a week and will 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 in new funding to support children with Special Educational Needs next year alone.

The Conservatives have stated that they want to attract the best talent into teaching along with recognising the great work that they do. Therefore, they have announced that they will be raising teachers’ starting salary to £30,000.

They promise to invest more in arts, music and sport. They will do this by offering an ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools along with investing in primary school PE teaching.

Support…

How do the Conservatives plan to support schools and their teachers?

  • They will back heads and teachers on discipline
  • Expand our programme to help schools with the worst behaviour learn from the best
  • They believe that Ofsted serves a valuable purpose
  • Continue to support innovation such as their successful maths schools
  • Expand alternative provision schools
  • Deliver more school places for children with complex Special Educational Needs
  • Intervene in schools where there is entrenched under performance
  • Support parents to choose a school that best suits their child
  • Continue to build more free schools

The Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbin and the Labour Party believe that education makes our economy stronger, our society richer and our people more fulfilled. They stated that their National Education Service will be at the heart of their plan for real change. They also plan on providing free education for everyone throughout their lives and will nurture every child and adult.

Early years…

  • They will reverse cuts to Sure Start and create a new service, Sure Start Plus, with enough centres to provide a genuinely universal service, available in all communities
  • Make high-quality early years education available for every child
  • Extend paid maternity leave to 12 months
  • Within five years, all 2, 3 and 4-yearolds will be entitled to 30 hours of free preschool education per week and access to additional hours at affordable, subsidised rates staggered with incomes
  • Improve child development by transitioning to a qualified, graduate-led workforce
  • They value the experience of current early years workers, and will offer free training to the workforce to attain these qualifications on the job
  • Increase funding and end the fragmentation of the current system by funding providers directly
  • Recruit nearly 150,000 additional early years staff, including Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators, and introduce a national pay scale

Schools…

  • Invest to upgrade schools that have fallen into disrepair
  • Labour’s funding settlement will ensure pupils are taught by a qualified teacher, that every school is open for a full five days a week, and maximum class sizes of 30 for all primary school children
  • Fund more non-contact time for teachers to prepare and plan
  • Labour will provide the necessary funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Labour will end the ‘high stakes’ testing culture of schools by scrapping Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs and baseline assessments, and refocussing assessment on supporting pupil progress
  • Introduce an Arts Pupil Premium to fund arts education for every primary school child
  • End the fragmentation and marketisation of our school system by bringing free schools and academies back under control of the people who know them best – parents, teachers and local communities
  • Budget and day-to-day decisions will be transferred back to schools, overseen by an accountable governing body with elected representatives
  • All schools will be subject to a common rulebook, set out in legislation
  • Replace Ofsted and transfer responsibility for inspections to a new body, designed to drive school improvement
  • Take action to end ‘off-rolling’, removing the perverse incentives for schools to let pupils fall out of the system, by making schools accountable for the outcomes of pupils who leave their rolls
  • We will properly regulate all education providers and reform alternative provision (AP) to ensure an excellent education is the right of every child, and improve the outcomes and life chances of some of the most vulnerable children in society
  • ‘Poverty-proof’ schools, introducing free school meals for all primary school children, encouraging breakfast clubs, and tackling the cost of school uniforms
  • Close the tax loopholes enjoyed by elite private schools and use that money to improve the lives of all children
  • Bring back the School Support Staff Negotiating Body and national pay settlements for teachers

Further education & lifelong learning.

Labour will ensure fairness and sustainability in further education, aligning the base rate of per-pupil funding in post-16 education with Key Stage 4, providing dedicated capital funding to expand provision bringing back the Education Maintenance Allowance as the Welsh Labour Government has done.

Labour will make lifelong learning a reality, giving everyone a free lifelong entitlement to:

  • Training up to Level 3
  • Six years training at Levels 4-6, with maintenance grants for disadvantaged learners

Higher education.

  • Labour will end the failed free-market experiment in higher education, abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants
  • Ensures all public HE institutions have adequate funding for teaching and research
  • Widens access to higher education and reverses the decline of part-time learning
Who are you voting for?

The Liberal Democrats.

 Their top priorities in the next parliament will be:

  • Providing free, high-quality childcare for children of working parents from nine months
  • Reversing cuts to school funding, employing an extra 20,000 schoolteachers, and clearing the backlog of repairs to school and college buildings
  • Ending teaching to the test by scrapping mandatory SATs and replacing existing government performance tables (‘league tables’) of schools with a broader set of indicators

Liberal Democrats have a plan to deliver the best start in life for children:

  • Free childcare from the of age nine months (the end of paid parental leave
  • Reverse cuts to school funding, allowing schools to employ an extra 20,000 teachers and reduce class sizes, restoring them to 2015 levels per pupil with an emergency cash injection
  • Parents should get the full picture of how their school is doing. Primary schools cannot be properly measured by just one week of tests. There must be robust inspections that measure social and emotional development alongside attainment. They should support schools to succeed, instead of punishing them for failure
  • Parents should not have to be kept waiting for their child’s needs to be identified and supported. Liberal Democrats will put wellbeing at the heart of every school, and better fund special needs education
  • Further Education colleges have a vital role in giving opportunities to young people who want to pursue vocational study, and Liberal Democrats will end the neglect they have suffered for too long

Schools that prepare children for life:

  • Establish an independent body of education experts who will use the most up-to-date educational evidence to oversee any future curriculum changes. It would take these decisions out of the hands of politicians and put an end to unnecessary and often politically motivated changes, which disrupt children’s learning and place an extra burden on teachers
  • Reduce unnecessary stress on pupils and teachers and end ‘teaching to the test’, by scrapping existing mandatory SATs and replacing them with a formal, moderated teacher assessment at the end of each phase and some lighter-touch testing
  • Replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools. Inspections should take place every three years and should consider a broader range of factors including the social and emotional development of children, and the wellbeing of staff and pupils. Independent schools should be subject to the same inspection regime
  • Teach the core skills required for children to flourish in the modern world, including critical thinking, verbal reasoning and creativity

Accountable local schools:

  • Give local authorities with responsibility for education the powers and resources to act as Strategic Education Authorities for their area, including responsibility for places planning, exclusions, administering admissions including in-year admissions, and SEND functions
  • Create a level playing field by requiring MATs to undergo external inspection and allowing local authorities to open new Community Schools where needed
  • Oppose any future expansion of grammar schools and devolve all capital funding for new school spaces to local authorities

A better deal for teachers:

  • Raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 and increase all teachers’ pay by at least three per cent per year throughout the parliament
  • Introduce a clear and properly funded entitlement to genuinely high-quality professional development for all teachers – rising to the level of 50 hours per year by 2025. They will also give extra training to teachers who are required to teach subjects at secondary level where they themselves do not have a post A-level qualification

Children and families read to learn:

  • Extend free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs
  • Ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling
  • Ensure there is a specific individual responsible for mental health in schools, who would provide a link to expertise and support for children experiencing problems. They would also take a lead on developing whole-school approaches to mental well-being
  • Extend free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs
  • Ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling
  • Ensure there is a specific individual responsible for mental health in schools, who would provide a link to expertise and support for children experiencing problems. They would also take a lead on developing whole-school approaches to mental well-being
  • Give schools a statutory duty to promote the wellbeing of their pupils as part of the inspection framework
  • Extend free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs
  • Ensure that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling
  • Ensure there is a specific individual responsible for mental health in schools, who would provide a link to expertise and support for children experiencing problems. They would also take a lead on developing whole-school approaches to mental well-being
  • Give schools a statutory duty to promote the wellbeing of their pupils as part of the inspection framework
  • Include teaching about how to use social media responsibly in our ’curriculum for life ‘and provide advice and support for parents on how to help their children protect themselves online

Learning throughout life:

  • Invest an extra £1 billion in Further Education funding, including by refunding colleges for the VAT they pay
  • Raise standards in universities by strengthening the Office for Students, to make sure all students receive a high-quality education
  • Require universities to make mental health services accessible to their students, and introduce a Student Mental Health Charter through legislation
  • Reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students, ensuring that living costs are not a barrier to disadvantaged young people studying at university
  • Establish a review of higher education finance in the next parliament to consider any necessary reforms in the light of the latest evidence of the impact of the existing financing system on access, participation and quality, and make sure there are no more retrospective raising of rates or selling-off of loans to private companies

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