If you are undecided about the upcoming Election then you may want to consider the impact each of the parties has on education. Schools are suffering from underfunding – meaning they have had to cut school hours, being forced to drop subjects from the curriculum, increase class sizes or cut staff numbers. Buildings are going un-repaired and begging letters to parents for money are all too common practice. £8.9bn could be slashed from schools budget by 2022 and so the spotlight has been put on manifesto promises for each of the three main political parties – showing the public the full-scale of possible cuts to local schools in England.
The Conservative Party Manifesto on Education
- This commitment will mean £1bn funding for schools. This would be funded by cutting infant school free meals which were introduced in the last few years, plus other spending commitments. It would then need to pay for the free school breakfast for all primary school children and the introduction of new grammar schools.
- In real terms that is a result of an £8.9 billion cut – by taking into account inflation and growing pupil numbers, between now and 2021/22.
The Labour Party Manifesto on Education
- Their commitment will mean £4.8bn funding for schools. This would protect school funding in real terms per pupil, protecting schools against inflation.
- An inclusive education for all, closing the gap between children from different backgrounds.
- Reduce class sizes for infants to under 30 children.
- Introduce free school meals for all primary school children, paid for by removing the VAT exemption on private school fees.
- Extend schools-based counselling to all schools to improve children’s mental health, at a cost of £90 million per year.
- Restore the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16 to 18-year-olds from lower and middle income backgrounds.
- Replace Advanced Learner Loans and upfront course fees with direct funding, making FE courses free at the point of use, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses.
The Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto on Education
- Their commitment will mean £2.2bn funding for schools.
- This would give protection on 2017/18 funding levels, and would ensure that schools won’t lose in cash terms through the introduction of the National Funding Formula.
- Triple the Early Years Pupil Premium to £1000 – giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds the best start in life.
- Protect the Pupil Premium which targets extra help at disadvantaged children.
- End the 1% cap on teachers’ pay rises.
- Allow parents to take their children on holidays in term time without being fined.
To see exactly how each party would affect the schools and colleges in your area then you can enter your postcode at www.schoolcuts.org.uk to get a breakdown of what a Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat government would mean for your local children and young people in terms of the individual school/college budget breakdowns.
You can see the two examples here are from my children’s schools. The first (above) is a primary school and the second (below) is a Grammar school.
The Britain’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) video which reveals the scale of the budget cuts under the current government has already been watched over 3 million times since its launch last weekend. It has been shared on social media by the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Owen Jones and Paul Mason.
Vote for Education.
Ask your local candidates to pledge to oppose school cuts before the General Election on June 8.
This is a collaborative post.