The June Election – Voting for Education

This week Prime Minister Theresa May called for a Snap Election that will be held on the 8th of June 2017. There are many scattered views across Great Britain’s political parties that aim to brighten the future of our education system and work towards finding a fair path for all students and teachers, but this pathway to fairness has alternate destinations, leaving views on education divided. It’s difficult to vote for a party when there are so many contrasting headlines feeding you alternate perceptions of what will be great for Britain and what will bring it to it’s knees. When you place your vote on June the 8th, it’s important to vote for what you believe in, what will benefit our country, and what will create brighter opportunities for the younger generation. With this in mind, Education plays an important sector. TeacherBoards Community have created a list of non-biased content with the views, policies and previous statements on education of the main political parties to help you vote for the political party that’s right for you.

Early Learning Education:

Labour: 

  • The Labour party aims to bring back to light the benefits of Sure Start. Praised by many, Sure Start aimed to create more opportunities in early learning, child care and family support – mainly based on low income or deprived families. You can read more about the history and effects of Sure Start here.
  • The Labour party backs the argument that many children have their futures set out for them way before they begin their academic descent, and this is mainly due to class-ism and wage gaps.
  • According to The Guardian – the Labour party pledges to increase the early years provision from 15 hours to 25 hours.

Conservative:

  • The Conservatives 2015 manifesto planned to introduce tax free childcare. This would help it become more accessible to lower income families.
  • The policy of having free childcare for families who worked at least 8 hours per week is to come into place this year, this would help parents who struggle to pay for childcare on a daily basis and will also introduce children into early learning environments from a young age.
  • Early years teaching positions will require tougher entry requirements as a way of ensuring capability and qualified skill sets for the position, specifically to specialise in early development.

Liberal Democrats:

  • The Liberal Democrats party also wants to improve the quality of early years teaching to improve the development of early learning, along with raising the status for the teachers and teaching staff that work (or aim to) in early years.
  • The party wants to increase the Early Years Pupil Premium. This gives early year learning environments extra budget to help children with disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • According to their manifesto, they also aim to ‘improve the identification of special educational needs at an earlier age’ to help provide them with a well prepared education.

Greens:

  • The Green party backs the theory that high quality Pre-school education is very significant factor towards a strong development in future education – thus wanting to work hard to ensure there are opportunities for all in place.
  • The party wants to put in place the opportunity to have early years and childcare services that are free but voluntary.
  • The Green Party want to raise the compulsory education age to 7 years of age. Although children will still have the opportunity to attend early learning and school before this age, it will not be a mandatory rule.

You can read each manifesto on early education and learning here.

Primary Education

Labour:

  • The Labour party argue that there should be a VAT tax added to Private School fees to help fund free schools meals for all Primary Schools.
  • Similar to the Green party, Labour wants to lower the amount of student per class (to 30 maximum) to help teachers who struggle with overly large class sizes. This will help communication within the classroom, and theoretically helps both teachers and students.
  • Labour are against the Conservative views of opening new Grammar Schools across the United Kingdom, they disagree that Grammar Schools will benefit the schooling system, arguing that ‘it will only serve a minority‘.

Conservative:

  • The Conservative Government want a further 500 free schools to be created according to an article by The Guardian.
  • They also aim to convert all schools across the UK that are judged to be failing or ‘coasting’ to become academies to help them expand.
  • The Conservative party also want to protect schools funding per pupil, arguably making it a fairer process.

Liberal Democrats:

  • An article written in 2014 stated that the Lib Dems contend that all schools should have qualified teachers and follow a core curriculum, but others argue that this corrupts individuality and brings the bureaucracy further into schools.
  • The Liberal Democrats party are ‘concerned’ at the lacks of arts, music and sports lessons that are involved in today’s school curriculum.
  • They also strongly oppose the Conservative policies on opening new Grammar Schools, Academies and For Profit Schools – much like the arguments that Labour hold.

Greens:

  • The Green party want to abolish Ofsted reports and school visits and instead, replace it with a ‘supportive and cooperative’ system.
  • This political party wants to bring academies and free schools back under Local Authority control and argue that Private Schools should have their charitable status removed.
  • As for Faith Schools, they believe that these schools should no longer be state funded and will not be able to opt out of implementing full equality and diversity in their schools, including the ending the promotion of homophobia or Transphobia in schools.

Higher Education

Labour:

  • Jeremy Corbyn plans on restoring maintenance grants and aims to abolish tuition fees for higher education and university students.
  • Apprenticeship rates are under the standard national minimum wage despite the amount of ours apprentices are expected to work. The Labour party aim to end poverty rates for apprenticeships.
  • The Labour party has also proposed a ‘cradle to grave’ National Education Service that would be free to all participants. This project would be funded by tax.

Conservative:

  • The Conservative party want to reform the current student visa system that is in place by adding new measures to tackle abuse. They also plan to decrease the number of international students that are overstaying once their student visa has expired.
  • After implementing cuts to maintenance grants, the Conservatives want to introduce a different system that aims to help students. This would be a national post graduate loan system that would go towards funding students’ Masters and PhD courses.
  • Apprenticeships wise, the conservatives plan to open up 3 million apprenticeship opportunities by 2020 to help ensure people have opportunity to develop skills that many employers require.

Liberal Democrats:

  • The Lib Dems argue that access to education and other academic opportunities should not end at 18 years old.
  • The party aims to broaden the school curriculum to teach essential life skills such as finance, emergency life skills and sex and relationship education, that would be age appropriate, to help educate young students on necessary life skills that will benefit them both academically and socially.
  • The Liberal Democrats were also against raising University tuition fees and promised to abolish them in their manifesto. They then backed the policy on raising tuition fees that ended many students having to pay triple.

Greens:

For more information, visit the Political Party websites to find on more on policies, case studies and previous manifestos. Educate yourself on the history of the parties as well as on their aims to move forward. It is important to take the education sector into consideration when it comes to choosing who you will vote for in the June 8th Snap Election. The students of tomorrow will be heavily affected from the decisions of today’s Government, they aren’t able to vote for their futures, but you can.

We’d love to hear your opinions on the 2017 Snap Election and who you would vote for in terms of education, post your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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