The Liberal Democrats are committed to reversing school cuts. By the end of this Parliament, we will spend £10 billion a year extra on schools so that we can recruit 20,000 more teachers.
Our schools and colleges should be world-class, helping every child, no matter their ability or background, make the most of the challenges ahead. Instead, our schools are trailing behind. The Conservatives have cut school budgets to the bone. Hundreds of schools are having to crowdfund from parents to buy basic supplies. Teaching assistants are being sacked. Schools are cutting the learning week short to balance the books. Cashstrapped councils are struggling to support children with complex needs.
In Bromley latest figures from schoolcuts.org.uk reveal a £21.7M shortfall in funding, equivalent to £493 for each pupil.
Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and reverse school cuts with an emergency cash injection of £4.6 billion, giving schools the same spending power that they had in 2015. This will be new money from the Treasury, not taken from other education spending.
We will end the crisis in special educational needs funding by giving councils £3,000 extra for every child with the most complex needs and increase spending on further education by £1 billion a year, including by refunding colleges the VAT they pay.
A Liberal Democrat government will provide 35 hours a week of free, high-quality childcare for all children aged 2-4 and for children with working parents from 9 months. We will immediately raise the rates paid to childcare providers, matching what nurseries tell us is the cost to them of providing free childcare hours.
Our manifesto will set out a five-year plan for increasing school funding and hiring 20,000 more teachers, benefiting schools across the country. We will value teachers properly and give them the pay and support they deserve, by fully funding an annual pay rise of at least 3% a year and a new entitlement to high-quality professional development.
Liberal Democrats are committed to building a brighter future for our children, putting wellbeing at the heart of every school. Children should come home from school happier, healthier and with all the skills they need to succeed. We can only achieve this if we reverse school cuts and give pupils the resources they need to learn.