Education is the best way to give children the opportunity to reach their full potential, wherever they live and whatever their background. But our education system is at risk with Conservative plans to cut public services. In government, Liberal Democrats have insisted on protecting school budgets but without us that protection would evaporate. Liberal Democrats introduced a £2.5bn pupil premium to get extra money to the children who need the most help; introduced free school meals for under 7s, and expanded free nursery places to cut the cost of childcare and give children the best possible start.
Our manifesto commits us to go even further. We will protect the education budget from nursery to 19 – including early years, schools 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. We have a clear ambition to eradicate child illiteracy: our changes will mean every child leaves primary school able to read well by 2025.