Friday Update – 24 April 2015

Welcome back after Easter I hope you all had a lovely break.  With Parliament dissolved and the election soon upon us, I thought this week it would be interesting to take a look at the Parties main education pledges and to highlight a free Schools North East session to analyse the election outcome and the implications for North East schools.

Conservative Party
• Protect school funding per pupil
• Create at least a further 500 free schools in England by 2020
• Zero tolerance for failure – immediate support to turn around failing or coasting schools
• 30 hours free childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds

Labour Party
• Protect education budget for 0 to 19 year olds so it rises in line with inflation
• Cut university tuition fees to £6,000 a year
• Ensure all primary schools guarantee access to childcare from 8am to 6pm
• Cap class sizes at 30 for 5, 6 and 7 year olds

Liberal Democrats Party
• Guarantee qualified teachers, a core curriculum and sex education in all state schools
• Ring fence the education budget for 2 to 19 year olds
• A strategy to end child illiteracy by 2025
• 15hrs a week free childcare from the end of paid parental leave

• Scrap sex education for primary school children
• Allow secondary schools to become grammar schools
• Scrap fees for students taking degrees in science, technology, maths or engineering on condition they pay UK tax and work in the discipline for five years upon completing studying
• Abolish Key Stage 1 SAT tests at primary school level

Green Party
• Scrap university tuition fees
• Bring academies and free schools into the local authority system
• Ensure all teachers are qualified and end performance-related pay
• Scrap Ofsted and SATS

Once the votes have been counted and a Government (hopefully!) has taken office, what can we really expect to happen? whose policies will count? what will they look like in practice? what will the results mean for Ofsted, oversight, exams, academies and free schools, teachers, funding and the curriculum? how will pledges in other policy areas impact on schools and the North East region? and ultimately, what changes are schools going to be expected to implement?

Schools North East is offering a free session in central Newcastle on Friday 15 May from 8.30 to 11.00 a.m. to analyse the election outcome and the implications for North East schools. They will be joined by Laura McInerney, Editor of Schools Week, along with guests from the Parties and beyond.

To secure your place at this event, please email or call 0191 204 8866.