Highlighting the Liberal Democrats’ front page manifesto commitment on education, Nick Clegg has reinforced the party’s guarantee to protect education funding from nursery to 19. The Liberal Democrats’ plan, they say, will attract the best into the teaching profession and drive up standards in every school by ending political interference, giving power back to teachers, and providing new opportunities for professional development.
The Liberal Democrats say they are the only party to guarantee the protection of per pupil funding in real terms over the next five years. The Liberal Democrat five point commitment for teachers and parents will:
- Provide an additional £2.5bn of funding for 2-19yr-olds by 2020; protecting per pupil education spending in real terms over the next parliament and increasing the education budget as a whole.
- Guarantee all teachers in state-funded schools will be fully qualified or working towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by September 2016.
- Establish the Royal College of Teachers to oversee QTS and professional development. And support the Teach First programme to attract high calibre graduates into teaching, in particular in STEM subjects.
- Establish a new National Leadership Institute to promote high-quality leadership targeting the most challenging schools in the UK.
- Get politics out of the classroom. We will give teachers more freedom over what they can teach by introducing a minimum curriculum entitlement – a slimmed down core national curriculum, which will be taught in all state-funded schools. As well as establish an Independent Educational Standards Authority (ESA) to remove ministerial interference in curriculum content and exam standards.
Announcing the new measures, the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: "A good education has to power to give every child the opportunity to succeed in life. But you can’t get a world-class education without world-class teachers. As the economy grows we need to invest further in education, giving teachers the gold-standard qualifications they are due and the freedom they need to teach future generations."
Continuing Mr Clegg said: "If you are a teacher, be assured the Liberal Democrats will get politics out of the classroom and give you the freedom you need to teach your pupils. Our plans will recruit, retain and reward good teachers. If you are a parent, be assured your children will get a world class education from world class teachers. The Tories are wilfully taking an axe to our vital public services and their agenda will hit teachers and schools hard."
"In Coalition the Liberal Democrats stopped the Tories cutting the schools budget. Only with Liberal Democrats in Government will education get the respect and protection it needs." Nick Clegg added.