Education is the route to opportunity and prosperity. Successive governments have never accorded education the top priority it deserves. The objective must be the delivery of a first class education for all, regardless of location or background.
|The Peoples Party must:|
|double education funding to £230bn, an average of £20,000 per pupil to transform education at all levels|
|establish all “state” schools as independent charitable trusts, freeing them to manage to make the best use of resources, using the best schools as role models|
|improve the status and skills set of teachers, paying professional salaries for the professionals that outstanding teaching demands|
|ensure that schools are lead and managed in the most effective ways|
|ensure the curriculum is relevant and valuable for the modern world, financial literacy and learning to use spreadsheets is, for instance, far more useful for most children than algebra and trigonometry|
|encourage a “work ready” approach, giving pupils the skills they need to maximise their employability, trainability and life chances|
|introduce a new ethos that makes education both flexible and relevant, equipping pupils to get the best from tomorrow’s opportunities|
|make education fun and engaging at all levels. It is vital to inspire children at an early age, to find ways to pull out their intelligence and skills to ensure that they get the most from school|
|learn from international best practices to foster excellence in educational outcomes, rather than concentrating on the traditional input based subject by subject approach|
|adopt a new system of assessing achievement to replace A levels and GCSEs concentrating on the “real world” skills that pupils need in the 21st century, removing formal testing at 16|
|introduce three 13 week terms and one 12 week term. Apart from a week over Christmas and New Year, abolish set school holidays with parents taking children out of school to suit their holiday arrangements.|
|lengthen the school day to up to 6pm for primary school children, and later for secondary school pupils|
|encourage competitive sport, music, art, with a full range of “extracurricular” activities integral to the school day|
|ensure school meals are excellent, to include breakfast, lunch and dinner and free for all|
|concentrate far greater resources on early childhood, giving children the best possible start in their first five years|
|ensure every child has a full time place in a kindergarten from 1 year old, also facilitating parents returning to work|
|make schools knowledge and resource centres for their communities, open seven days a week. Ensure the facilities are used much more intensively, providing educational opportunities throughout life|
|stimulate vocational education|
|encourage people to pursue teaching as a “second career” so that the benefit of their work/life experience is passed on. Abolish the need for teaching qualifications for mature teachers, focusing on inspiring pupils to achieve and succeed. The idea is “those that can do, and then they teach”|
|abolish all university tuition charges, reintroduce student grants and “wipe clean” existing student debt, which in some cases, can lead to people paying more in ‘tax” than they take home|
|allow parents who choose to pay for education to offset school fees against education tax or opt for vouchers up to £20,000 per pupil|
|never allow education to be disrupted in the way it has over the pandemic|
|make a British liberal education available worldwide with a global online school Open School, modelled on the Open University concept|
Investing in education must be at the core of the government’s philosophy. Education is the key to individual, family and national well being and security. Education is vitally important to ensure prosperity and opportunity. It is key to closing the UK’s productivity gap with other developed countries. We must encourage skills that employers want – problem solving, team work, entrepreneurship, critical thinking, leadership, digital literacy to name but a few.
Transforming education offers hope. So many of the problems we face today, whether they be welfare poverty, ill health, crime or even issues such as Brexit, are down to failures of education.
We must understand that investing more at the front end of life leads to far greater returns in individual and national prosperity later, with significant savings in not paying to address problems caused by educational failure. In short, for every £1 spent, much more is generated or saved.
For every citizen, an excellent education is indispensable for a happy, prosperous and fulfilled life.
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