Education policies

Major Parties’ Key Education Policies

PAG Staff2024, Article, Early Years, free schools, Inequalities, Leadership, Policy, Schools, SEND

The Major Parties' Key Education Policies

The UK general election is tomorrow, and education is a key issue for many voters up and down the country. Here’s a detailed roundup of the major parties' key education policies, giving you a clear understanding of the parties addressing the issues vital to you.

The Conservative Party

The Conservative party is focusing it's education policies on reforms and increased funding for education in an attempt to remain in offi:

  • Post-16 Qualifications: Introducing the Advanced British Standard to replace A-levels and T-levels, requiring students to study a broader range of subjects including Maths and English until age 18.
  • School Spending: Protecting school spending in real terms per pupil and rebuilding 500 schools.
  • Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Offering tax-free bonuses of up to £30,000 for teachers in STEM subjects and expanding the recruitment and retention premium.
  • School Discipline and Safety: Mandating the banning of mobile phones in schools and ensuring parents' rights to view school curriculum.
  • Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND): Creating 60,000 more school places and 15 new free schools for SEND children.

(Source; source; source)

The Labour Party

At the time of writing, Labour are the favourites to replace the Tories, and aim to modernise the education system and improve support for teachers and students:

  • Teacher Recruitment: Recruiting 6,500 new specialist teachers and increasing support for teacher retention.
  • Private School Taxation: Imposing VAT on private school fees and ending their business rates relief to fund state education.
  • Mental Health Support: Providing specialist mental health professionals in every school.
  • Curriculum and Assessment: Launching an expert-led review of the curriculum and assessment systems.
  • Early Years and Primary Education: Creating 100,000 new nursery places and providing free breakfast clubs for all primary school children.

(Source; source; source)

The Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats focus is on increasing funding and expanding support services:

  • School Funding: Increasing school funding per pupil above inflation each year and investing in school buildings.
  • Mental Health: Placing a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every school.
  • Teacher Pay and Conditions: Reforming the teachers’ pay review body and fully funding any recommended pay rises.
  • Curriculum Reform: Including arts subjects in the English Baccalaureate and broadening the curriculum to make qualifications fit for the 21st century.
  • Support for Disadvantaged Students: Extending free school meals to all children in poverty and expanding extracurricular activities for disadvantaged children​.

(Source; source; source)

The Green Party

The Green Party's education policies advocate for significant changes in school funding and structure:

  • Increased Spending: Proposing a £14 billion increase in education spending.
  • Abolishing Ofsted: Removing Ofsted and formal testing in primary schools.
  • Free School Meals: Providing free, nutritious school meals for all children.
  • Academies and Free Schools: Transferring academies and free schools to local authority control and improving school buildings.

(Source; source)

Whatever the outcome of tomorrow's election, or your personal affiliation, one thing for sure is that much needs to be done to address the growing problems surrounding our education system and the young people reliant on it. From a surge in children facing destitution, a huge rise in EHCPs, and the crisis enveloping SEND funding, ensuring children and young people are given the best possible starts in life is critical and should be high on the list of whichever party gets the keys to that famous black door.