Schools that prepare children for life


OFSTED is unfair on teachers and students and doesn't take wellbeing into account in its inspections. This needs to change - the Lib Dems recognise that a good school isn't all about grades. There's so much more that's important that just isn't being looked at.

The Liberal Democrats will:

  • Replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools, to consider a broader range of factors including the social and emotional development of children, and the wellbeing of staff and pupils.

  • Reverse cuts to school funding, allowing schools to employ an extra 20,000 teachers and reduce class sizes, restoring them to 2015 levels.

  • Introduce a ‘curriculum for life’, in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education.

 

An education system which focuses only on a narrow range of academic subjects and measures pupils’ abilities in a handful of high-pressure exams, does not give young people the skills they need to get on in life. It also lets down those children who do not work well in exam conditions. Liberal Democrats will ensure England’s education system delivers high academic standards while also helping children grow into happy, healthy and confident adults; and nurtures and values all styles of learning. We will:

  • Reverse cuts to school funding, allowing schools to employ an extra 20,000 teachers and reduce class sizes, restoring them to 2015 levels per pupil with an emergency cash injection.
  • Invest to clear the backlog of repairs to school and college buildings so we have schools that are safe places to learn in.
  • End the crisis in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities funding by allocating additional cash to local authorities to halve the amount that schools pay towards the cost of a child’s Education Health and Care Plan.
  • Introduce a ‘curriculum for life’, in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social and Health Education, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Teaching about sexual consent, LGBT+ relationships, and issues surrounding explicit images and content will be included in RSE.
  • Establish an independent body of education experts who will use the most up-to-date educational evidence to oversee any future curriculum changes. It would take these decisions out of the hands of politicians and put an end to unnecessary and often politically motivated changes, which disrupt children’s learning and place an extra burden on teachers.
  • Reduce unnecessary stress on pupils and teachers and end ‘teaching to the test’, by scrapping existing mandatory SATs and replacing them with a formal, moderated teacher assessment at the end of each phase and some lighter-touch testing.
  • Give parents school performance measures they can trust, by replacing existing government performance tables (‘league tables’) with a broader set of indicators including information about pupils’ and teachers’ wellbeing, as well as academic attainment.
  • Replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools. Inspections should take place every three years and should consider a broader range of factors including the social and emotional development of children, and the wellbeing of staff and pupils. Independent schools should be subject to the same inspection regime.
  • Improve the quality of vocational education, including skills for entrepreneurship and self-employment, and improve careers advice and links with employers in schools and colleges.
  • Protect the availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum and act to remove barriers to pupils studying these subjects, including by abolishing the English Baccalaureate as a performance measure.
  • Teach the core skills required for children to flourish in the modern world, including critical thinking, verbal reasoning and creativity.

 

Read more about our plan for a brighter future

 


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