Monday, 16 February 2015

A fair start for every child

Liberal Democrats believe that every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, wherever they live and whatever their background.

That’s why, in government, Liberal Democrats have protected school budgets; introduced a £2.5bn pupil premium to get extra money to the children who need the most help; introduced free school meals for infant children, and massively expanded early years education.

In the next parliament we want to go even further.

We will protect the education budget from cradle to college – including early years, schools and 16-19 education.

It’s impossible to raise standards, recruit teachers and help more children succeed if our education system is starved of funds.  All parties will have to make savings in the next parliament: but Liberal Democrats will not cut the money the Department for Education spends on schools, early years and 16-19 education.

We will give every child access to a high quality pre-school education, and we will insist that every child is taught by a qualified teacher.

An outstanding teacher changes children’s lives. It isn’t right that a child taught in a free school or academy doesn’t have the same right to a qualified teacher as other children.  We will require every teacher in a state funded school to hold Qualified Teacher Status or be working towards it.

These changes will mean every child will leave primary school able to read well by 2025.