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Monday, 2 February 2015

Lib Dems publish 'The Gove Files'

As the Prime Minister launches the Conservatives' education plans, the Liberal Democrats have lifted the lid on what the party calls their a five-year battle to protect and improve education. The Liberal Democrats have published what they call the The Gove Files, a 13 page dossier showing how the party has fought Michael Gove's ideological agenda inside the department.

The documents shows how Liberal Democrats have:

  • Blocked Gove's plan to run schools for profit
  • Blocked Gove's plan for the return of O-Levels and a two-tier education system
  • Ensured the Pupil Premium was properly funded and introduced free school meals for infants, despite Gove's opposition

In this Parliament, the Liberal Democrats say they have ensured the schools budget was protected in real terms but they say the Conservatives are refusing to rule out drastic cuts if they win a majority. This means, the Lib Dems say, the education budget could be slashed by a quarter by 2020. As a party, they say, that believes fundamentally in spreading opportunity to everyone, no matter what your background, Liberal Democrats in government have prioritised education.

The Lib Dems say they have successfully fought to raise standards by protecting school budgets, expanding early years education and introducing a pupil premium to get more money to the children who need extra help. But they say they have also spent much of the last five years engaged in a behind-the-scenes battle over education with Michael Gove and the Conservatives’ ideological agenda.

A Lib Dem spokesman said: "However, the fight is far from over. Conservative scorched earth plans for much deeper cuts than necessary in the next parliament mean that funding for nurseries, schools and colleges could be slashed by a quarter by 2020."