The Liberal Democrats have approved a new policy paper at their Spring Conference in Southport on Saturday, 10th March 2018.
The wide ranging policy led by former teacher and Lib Dem Eudcation Spokesperson, Layla Moran, is aimed to inspire confident, resilient, young people ready to tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing world and with the knowledge and skills to do so.
10 key proposals from the Lib Dem’s Education policy:
1) Uphold rigorous standards of external inspection, which should
focus on judging whether school leaders are capable of leading
improvement and an assessment of the whole school, looking
at pupil well-being as well as results. To achieve this we will
replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools. Inspections
should be every three years. Independent schools should also
be subject to the same inspection regime.
2) Curriculum to include a ‘curriculum for life’ (eg, SRE, Citizenship,
First Aid, Financial Literacy) and ensure every child has access to
high quality, independent careers advice.
3) Detail of curriculum to be worked out by independent
Education Standards Authority without political interference.
4) Reduce unnecessary stress on pupils and teachers and end
‘teaching to the test’, by scrapping existing mandatory SATs
tests at both KS1 and KS2, and replace the them with a formal,
moderated teacher assessment at the end of each phase and
some lighter touch testing.
5) Replace the EBacc measure with Progress 8.
6) Replace existing government performance tables (‘league
tables’) of schools with a broader set of indicators including
more qualities data about pupil wellbeing.
7) A specific individual responsible for mental health in schools, who
would provide a link to expertise and support for children
experiencing problems. They would also take a lead on
developing whole-school approaches to mental wellbeing.
8) Early years pupil premium increased to £1000 for the most vulnerable children.
9) Parents Councils for all state schools.
10) Return flexibility over term-time absences to head teachers.
Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Bolsover, Ross Shipman said: “I welcome this well thought out policy, which will improve our education system; as well as the wellbeing of children and teachers.”
“The Lib Dems recently investigated a severe problem of stress amongst teachers across Derbyshire and our proposals to scrap sats and OFSTED inspections; replacing them with a system which is design to allow teachers to do what they do best – teach.”
“Local children and teachers continue to be let down by successive governments who are so focused on process and have forgot what schools are for – the Liberal Democrats will enter the next election with a strong education policy that will put the emphasis back on teaching instead of needless paperwork.”
“The policy also garantees to protect education spending in real terms, so the resources are there to give our children the best start to life, particularly those from disadvantage backgrounds with our increase to the pupil premium.”
Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran MP said: “For far too long we have put up with a school system that fails both children and the wider economy. Students are taught to think like second rate robots, when to compete in an AI world they need not just to parrot content but to use that content creatively and in a way that can be adapted.
“These reforms represent a culture change in the way we run our schools. The current over-emphasis on high-stakes testing has lead to a system which overlooks many important elements of the development of a child. Ofsted only encourages this and is in our view too broken to be fixed.
“Parents want to know their children’s well-being is looked after and that they are receiving a broad education, which equips them for adult life, including creativity and the arts, SRE, financial literacy and first aid skills.
“We need an inspectorate and measure of success which recognises these values, empowering each individual child to be the best they can and want to be.”
You can join the Liberal Democrats and our fight to improve our education system by visiting www.libdems,org.uk/join