By Daniel Quinn
All the main parties say they will invest more in education. But what are the differences in their policies?
The Conservatives plan to boost education spending by £4.3bn in real terms by 2024. This will mean that, overall, secondary schools will be getting a minimum of £5,000 per secondary student by the end of next year, and 4k per student in primary schools by 2022.
The Tories boast improved international rankings in education, and plan to improve behaviour and standards through the creation of ‘National Behaviour Hubs’, where better performing schools will assist those that are struggling, as well as implementing more regular Ofsted checks. Teachers will be getting more investment, with plans for starting salaries to increase to £30,000 by 2023. There’s not much change in line for university students, however. Although, they are considering a review of university fees.
Labour is promising a spending increase of £7.5bn in real terms by 2024. Corbyn and his party plan big structural change. They want a new National Education Service which will support people throughout their lives. They plan to scrap Ofsted in favour of a new review system and implementing a new ‘School Funding Formula’. The exact details of these aren’t completely clear, however. A curriculum review would also be in store with more focus on issues like climate change and teaching the skills to deal with the climate emergency.
Labour plan to close tax loopholes for private schools, as well as giving local councils control over all schools. They are also promising a 5% increase in the salaries of all teachers. For university students they want to scrap tuition fees, and bring back maintenance grants for both further and higher education.
The Liberal Democrats are offering £4.8bn of extra funding in real terms by 2024. They want 20,000 more school teachers, with a new starting salary of £30,000 for teachers from next year; backed up by a yearly 3% pay rise. They’re going hard on Ofsted, replacing it with a ‘HM Inspector of Schools’. This new body will focus not aspects like mental health and student well-being. They will cut out SATs to remove ‘teaching to test’ from education.
Lib Dems want a new curriculum ‘for life’ which will teach key life skills, including age appropriate sex education that includes LGTBQ+ relationships. Alongside this they will introduce free school meals for all. For those at university, the Lib-Dems are planning to remove all fees, bring back grants, and write off the debt of students who were paying £9,000 a year.
So what do you think – tweet using #ourelection19
You find out more about each party’s policies from their manifestos;