Education, education, education. Tony Blair’s early Noughties election mantra may seem old school in an era when the political focus has shifted to the economy, NHS and immigration. But a recent poll saw education firmly back at the heart of the election for many ‘school run’ mums.
13,000 mothers were polled for Asda’s Mumdex Report and two thirds revealed they were still unsure where to put their cross on May 7th. These floaters said plans for schools were key. That’s potentially six million ‘school run’ votes up for grabs writes The Daily Mirror.
So with the General Election just a week away, and a brand new primary curriculum finding its feet, School Guide has waded through the party manifestos to produce a bite-size summary of what each of the five leading English political parties have planned for our education system.
If you are still undecided, read on.
- Building more than 500 free schools run by parents, teachers and third parties, financed by the state in England by 2020
- Protect school funding per pupil, pupil premiums and infant free school meals
- Crack down on failing or coasting schools; all primary and secondary schools rated as "requiring improvement" or "inadequate" by Ofsted could be turned into Academies or face a change in leadership
- 30 hours free childcare per week for working parents of three and four year old children
- Train an extra 17,500 maths and physics teachers over the next five years
- SATs resits upon arrival at secondary school if children have not reached the required standards
- Secondary school pupils will be required to take GCSEs in English, maths, science, a modern language and history or geography. Any school that refuses will not be eligible to receive Ofsted's highest rating
- Guaranteed 8am till 6pm access to childcare for three and four year olds and increased free provision from 15 to 25 hours
- Existing free schools will undergo more local authority supervision with independent directors and views of parents taken into account
- Increase education budget in line with inflation allowing for a cap in class size at 30 for five, six and seven year olds
- Cut university tuition fee cap from £9,000 to £6,000 a year
- Reactivate the AS and A-level programmes of study and introduce a gold-standard Technical Baccalaureate for 16 to 18 year-olds
- Ensure all young people study English and maths until the age of 18
- Protect the school budget for children aged between two and 19 years
- Guaranteed qualified teachers for every child, a slimmed down core curriculum and sex education in all state schools
- 20 hours of free childcare a week for all two to four year-olds and all children of working parents from nine months.
- A plan to erradicate child illiteracy by 2025
- Increase pupil premium for disadvanatged children to £1000 per year
- Double the number of businesses offering apprenticeships
- Allow existing secondary schools to become grammar schools that can select according to aptitude
- Scrap sex education for primary school children
- Abolish tuition fees for students taking approved degrees in science, medicine, technology, maths or engineering on condition they pay UK tax for five years after completion of their degrees
- Abolish Key Stage 1 SAT tests at primary school level
- Introduce an option for students to take an Apprenticeship Qualification instead of four non-core GCSEs
- Decrease workload for teachers, streamline assessment and remove performance related pay
- Scrap the target of 50 per cent of school leavers going to university
- Students from the EU will pay the same student fee rates as International students
- Schools will be investigated by Ofsted on the presentation of a petition to the Department for Education signed by 25 per cent of parents or governors
- Support free schools and parental choice to home school
- Scrap Ofsted in favour of a "collaborative system of monitoring performance"
- Abolition of SATs and league tables
- Scrap university tuition fees
- Ensure all teachers are qualified and end performance related pay
- Schooling not compulsory until age seven
- Incorporate academies and free schools into the local authority comprehensive system
- Withdraw public funding from faith schools and introduce a new citizenship programme to be taught in all schools
- Extend free school meals beyond Key Stage 1
- Maximum class size of 20 children