Investing in Our Children's Future

24 Sep 2023
Young happy children sat on the floor at school with hands raised

Every child, no matter their background, deserves the opportunity to achieve greatness.

It's a principle we hold dear in the Liberal Democrats. We believe that every child should have the best possible start in life. They deserve good local schools and colleges that help them to achieve their full potential and grow up into happy, healthy and confident adults.

Education is an investment, not just in the present, but in our country's future.

Yet this Conservative Government has consistently let down children, parents and teachers. Our schools and colleges have been neglected. Meanwhile, the Government has failed to grasp the pandemic's impact on children's learning and mental health.

Since 2019, at least 39 schools have fully or partly closed because they were unsafe.  It's time to end the scandal of crumbling schools. 

The number of children with mental health needs has skyrocketed during the pandemic, yet children are waiting months for help.

Conservative cuts and teacher shortages continue to undermine the quality of education. They have driven tens of thousands of young teachers out of the profession. 

The Pupil Premium - targeted support for the most disadvantaged pupils - has been cut in real-terms. Meanwhile, 800,000 children in poverty go without a free school meal.

That's why today Liberal Democrat members have passed a new policy which reflects our commitment to give every child a great start:

  • Increasing Funding for Schools: boosting schools funding, investing in new buildings and repairing facilities, and undoing the Conservatives’ damaging cuts to the Pupil Premium.
  • Extending Free School Meals: extending free school meals to every child in primary school and to secondary school pupils whose families receive Universal Credit.
  • Dedicated Mental Health Support: a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every school.
  • Supporting Our Teachers: tackling the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention with a workforce strategy that ensures every secondary school pupil is taught by an expert in their field.
  • A Modern Curriculum: building a consensus across parties and teachers to revamp the curriculum and make qualifications at 16 and 18 fit for the 21st century.
  • Reforming Ofsted Inspections: giving parents a clear picture of the true strengths and weaknesses of each school, and giving schools the guidance and support they need to improve.
  • Enriching Extra-Curricular Activities: expanding access to sports, music, drama, debating coding, and other activities, starting with a new free entitlement for disadvantaged children.
  • Keeping Parents Informed: improving communication and engagement with parents, with regular surveys and accessible information on what their children are learning.

It's time for a new era in education: one where every child's potential is nurtured and celebrated. The Liberal Democrats are committed to creating a fair and equitable education system that truly invests in our children's future.




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