Liberal Democrats have always put education at the heart of our agenda. Education opens the mind, it fosters understanding and tolerance, and it empowers our children and our communities. We believe every child deserves a great start in life so they are equipped to shape their own future, and are determined to make sure that the education system finds and unleashes the best in everyone. This is essential in order to break down the unfair divisions in our society, to ensure a productive, competitive economy and to overcome intolerance.
Too many people have their chances in life determined by who their parents are rather than by their own efforts and abilities. With our Pupil Premium, investing in children who might otherwise fall behind, we are finally beginning to tackle the scandalous gap in attainment between rich and poor. But now the Conservatives want to take us back 50 years, to an outdated system of grammar schools and secondary moderns, ignoring all the research and expert advice that show it will damage the life chances of so many children.
Liberal Democrats recognise the dual role of education in giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to be part of a productive, competitive economy, and helping them grow into happy, healthy and engaged members of their community.
Children’s education is too often distorted by schools’ need to focus on the next set of league tables and the next inspection. Teachers deserve to be treated as professionals and given the flexibility and support to apply their expertise. Schools should be free to encourage children to participate in a truly rounded curriculum including the arts, sport and culture that broaden children’s learning and develop their passion for education