General Election manifestos education pledges – Friday 19 May 2017

With Parliament dissolved and the election soon upon us, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at the three main Parties key education pledges which were published this week.


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Conservative Party education pledges

  • End the ban on selective schools and continue the free schools programme, aiming to build 100 new ones each year
  • Prohibit councils from creating any new places in schools that have been rated either Inadequate or Requires Improvement
  • Ask universities and independent schools to help run state schools
  • Increase overall schools budget by £4bn by 2022 and ensure no school is worse off as part of the new funding formula
  • Open a specialist maths school in every major city in England
  • Introduce a curriculum fund for developing knowledge-rich materials
  • Expect 75% of pupils to have entered EBacc subjects by the end of the next parliament, with 90% by 2025
  • Offer forgiveness on student loan repayments for teachers to help retain them within the profession
  • Create a jobs portal for schools to advertise vacancies to reduce costs and help with recruitment
  • Offer free school breakfast to all primary school pupils and scrap universal infant free school meals
  • Introduce mental health first aid training for teachers in all schools
  • Replace rules preventing the establishment of new Roman Catholic schools
  • Create more nurseries by introducing the presumption that all new primary schools should include one
  • Deliver a world-class technical education by replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with the new T-levels

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Labour Party education pledges

  • Create a unified National Education Service (NES) as one of the “central institutions of fairness” for the 21st century
  • Introduce a fairer funding formula which would leave “no school worse off”
  • Reduce class sizes to less than 30 pupils for all 5, 6 and 7 year olds
  • Introduce free school meals for all primary school children
  • Abandon baseline assessments and review KS1 and KS2 SATs
  • End the public sector pay gap and consult on introducing teacher sabbaticals and placements with industry
  • Give teachers “more direct involvement” in the curriculum
  • Reduce “monitoring and bureaucracy”
  • Reintroduce national pay bargaining for teachers
  • Undo the requirement for schools to pay the apprenticeship levy
  • Extend schools-based counselling to all schools to improve children’s mental health
  • Deliver an inclusive SEND strategy and embed it more substantially into training for all school staff
  • Extend free childcare to 30 hours for all 2 year olds
  • Scrap tuition fees in England
  • Reintroduce maintenance allowances

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Liberal Democrats Party education pledges

  • Scrap grammar schools plans and devolve all capital money for new school spaces to local authorities
  • Introduce a fairer National Funding System with a protection for all schools
  • End the 1% cap on teachers’ pay rises
  • Extend the free school meal programme to all primary school pupils
  • Introduce 25 hours of high quality CPD by 2020, rising to 50 hours by 2025
  • Tackle teacher workload by reforming Ofsted inspections and focusing on an evidence-based approach
  • Allow Ofsted to inspect academy chains
  • Introduce a curriculum entitlement – a slimmed down core national curriculum
  • Prioritise primary progress measures instead of floor thresholds and work with the profession to reform tests at age 11
  • Provide training to all teaching staff to identify mental health issues
  • Amend the Ofsted inspection framework to include promoting wellbeing as a statutory duty of schools
  • Improve links between employers and schools, encouraging all schools to participate in employment and enterprise schemes