Political Parties Manifesto proposals for the future of education

In anticipation of the General Election, due to take place on 12 December 2019, the major political parties have now published their manifestos. Each have stated what their party intends or hopes to achieve over the life of the next parliament, should they form the next government. Below is a summary, focused on their proposals for the future of education in England.

Early years


  • New £1 billion fund to help create more high quality affordable childcare, including before and after school and in the holidays.

  • Wraparound care for Forces families.

Green Party

  • Children under 6 to remain in early years education with a focus on play-based education.


  • Paid maternity leave extended to 12 months.

  • Childcare provision for 1 year olds extended to accommodate parental working patterns.

  • Reverse cuts to Sure Start and establish new Sure Start Plus centres to provide universal service available in all communities, focused on the under 2s.

  • Within five years, all 2, 3 and 4 year olds entitled to 30 hours per week free preschool education, plus access to additional hours at affordable rates.

  • Transitioning to a qualified graduate-led workforce, with free training to the existing workforce to obtain qualifications on the job.

  • Recruitment of 150,000 additional early years staff including SEN co-ordinators.

  • Introduction of a national pay scale for early years staff.

  • Secure funding for maintained nursery school.

  • Early years providers will be funded directly.

Liberal Democrats

  • Introduce 'baby boxes' to provide babies and parents with essential items to help with health and development.

  • Free childcare from the age of 9 months to age 4, 35 hours per week for 48 weeks each year with increased funding to cover the actual cost of nursery provision.

  • Invest £1 billion a year in Children's Centres.

  • Triple the early years pupil premium.

  • Require early years settings to have a training programme for staff with most staff with a relevant qualification or working towards one.

  • Early years setting to be graduate-led or have at least one graduate on staff.



  • Extra £14 billion in funding for schools – representing £4,000 per year for primary pupils, £5,000 a year for secondary pupils and £780 million to support children with SEND.

  • Raising teachers' starting salary to £30,000.

  • Back heads to use exclusions where necessary to maintain discipline.

  • Continue Ofsted inspections, 'which serve a useful purpose'.

  • Help teachers tackle bullying.

  • Create 'more great schools'.

  • Expand alternative provision schools.

  • Trial secure schools for young offenders.

  • Deliver more places for complex needs SEND children.

  • Intervene in schools where there is entrenched underperformance.

  • Give more parental choice of schools.

  • Establish more free schools.

  • Invest in arts, music and sport.

  • Offer an arts premium to secondary schools to fund enriching activities for all pupils.

  • Invest in primary school PE teaching.

  • Promote physical literacy and competitive sport.

Green Party

  • Relieve the financial squeeze on schools by increasing funding by at least £4 billion a year.

  • Reduce primary class sizes down to fewer than 20 in the long term.

  • Free up schools from centrally imposed testing regimes.

  • Children to start formal school aged 6.

  • Replace Ofsted with a collaborative system of assessing and supporting schools locally to improve standards and be accountable to the communities they serve.

  • End academisation and return schools to local authority control.

  • Empower local authorities with the responsibility and accountability for education within their areas.

  • Remove the rigid national curriculum and let teachers plan lessons and assess progress.

  • SEND children to be educated in mainstream schools supported by accessible buildings, an inclusive curriculum and specially trained teachers.

  • Introduce an English Climate Emergency Education Act to teach children about climate change and environmental danger.

  • Restore arts and music education to all state schools.

  • Remove charitable status from private schools and charge VAT on fees.


  • Introduction of a National Education Service (NES).

  • Oversight and co-ordination of continuous school improvement will be carried out by regional offices of the NES.

  • Local authorities will have responsibility for the delivery of education and support for young people.

  • Local authorities will manage admissions and have responsibility for school places.

  • Introduction of a fairer funding formula.

  • Upgrading of schools that have fallen into disrepair.

  • Schools subject to a common rule book.

  • All schools open five days a week.

  • Maximum class sizes of 30 for all primary school children.

  • More non-contact time for teachers.

  • Increased funding for SEND children.

  • Scrapping of KS1 and KS2 SATs and also the baseline assessment.

  • Introduction of an arts pupil premium to fund arts education for every primary school child.

  • Curriculum to include black history and cover issues like the Holocaust.

  • Pupils will be taught about climate change and the environmental emergency.

  • Free schools and academies to be brought back under control of parents, teachers and local communities.

  • Ofsted replaced and a new body set up with responsibility for inspections.

  • A new teacher supply service to replace private supply teacher agencies.

  • Ending off-rolling by making schools accountable for pupils who leave their rolls.

  • All education providers will be regulated.

  • Alternative provision will be reformed.

  • Free school meals for every primary school child and breakfast clubs encouraged.

  • Cost of school uniforms to be tackled.

  • Bring back the School Support Staff Negotiating Body.

  • Tax loopholes enjoyed by private schools will be closed.

  • Advice will be sought from the Social Justice Commission on integrating private schools and creating a comprehensive education system.

Liberal Democrats

  • Reverse cuts to school funding in order to employ 20,000 extra teachers and reduce class sizes.

  • Invest to clear backlog of school repairs.

  • Allocating extra cash for SEND pupils to halve the amount schools pay towards EHC plans.

  • Introduce a 'curriculum for life' in all state-funded schools to include PSHE, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid, life-saving skills, mental health education and citizenship. RSE should include LGBT and issues surrounding explicit images and content.

  • Establish an independent panel of experts to oversee future curriculum changes.

  • End mandatory SATs and introduce teacher assessment and some lighter touch testing.

  • Replace performance measures with a broader set of indicators, including information about pupil and teacher wellbeing as well as academic attainment.

  • Replace Ofsted with a new Inspector of Schools. All schools, both state and independent, to be inspected every three years and inspection should be of a broader range of factors including social and emotional development.

  • Improve the quality of vocational education and skills and improve careers advice and links with employers.

  • Protect the availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum.

  • Abolish the EBacc as a performance measure.

  • Teach core skills including critical thinking, verbal reasoning and creativity.

  • Give local authorities the powers and resources to act as strategic education authorities to be responsible for admissions, exclusions and SEND functions.

  • Raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000.

  • Introduce entitlement for high quality CPD for all teachers, rising to 50 hours per year by 2025.

  • Retraining for secondary teachers asked to teach a subject for which they do not have a post-A level qualification.

  • Extend free school meals to all primary pupils and all secondary pupils whose families receive universal credit.

  • Ensure teachers are properly trained to identify mental health issues and provide access for pupil support and counselling.

  • Ensure there is a specific individual in schools responsible for mental health.

  • Give schools a statutory duty to promote wellbeing as part of the inspection framework.

  • Tackle bullying of all types in schools by promoting pastoral leadership and

  • delivering high quality RSE.

  • Introduce gender neutral, flexible, realistically priced school uniform.

  • Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation.

  • Teach responsible use of social media and provide advice to parents on how to help children protect themselves online.

Further education and lifelong learning


  • Invest in local adult education.

  • Strengthen colleges' civic roles

Green Party

  • Revive the FE sector to provide a wider choice of academic and vocational learning.

  • Raise the funding rate for 16/17year olds as well as a capital expansion fund for sixth form providers.

  • Increase funding for adult education across England and Wales, creating a range of new adult education programmes including Green New Deal training projects.


  • Aligning the base rate of per pupil funding on post-16 education with KS4.

  • Bringing back the Education Maintenance Allowance.

  • Free lifelong entitlement to training up to level 3.

  • Free lifelong entitlement to six years training at levels 4–6, with maintenance grants for disadvantaged learners.

  • Reform of careers advice, working towards an integrated NES scheme.

  • Single system of regulation of further and adult education.

Liberal Democrats

  • Invest a further £1billion in FE funding including refunding VAT.

  • Introduce a Young People's Premium to help disadvantaged young people to remain in education and training post-16.

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