Education has a transformative power, not just for individuals, but families, communities and wider society. We believe that proper investment in our education system is essential for ensuring a successful future for everyone. We also believe that the transformative potential of education needs to be accessible to all, regardless of geography, social or economic background, or any other factor.
We believe that Early Years education should be accessible to all pre-school age children. We will protect the funding of existing Sure Start Centres, and invest to support the creation of new ones where they are needed.
We will seek to redress the centralising shift which, through the introduction of Free Schools and the significant recent growth in Academies, has brought more and more schools under the direct influence of the central government. We will restore all public sector schools back to the control of Local Education Authorities, ensuring that schools are more integrated in and answerable to the communities they serve.
We will seek to ensure that all primary and secondary schools are fully funded and that all children have access to the same high standard of education. We will put the National Curriculum back at the centre of our education system. We will also seek to reform the National Curriculum to make it more flexible and adaptable to local needs and circumstances, but at the same time will require all public sector schools throughout the UK to use it as the basis of their own teaching.
We will introduce, as part of the National Curriculum, a new subject to teach children about the various regions of the UK and their culture, local specialities and history, with a further focus on their own region. We believe this will help preserve and protect local identities as well as provide a platform for understanding and respect for the many differences between communities and people, and to encourage them to respect and celebrate the differences between us.
We believe that education is a universal right and should be free, from primary school through to university. Nobody should be excluded from the possibility of going to university purely because of their social background or financial circumstances, and we therefore propose that university education should be free at the point of use and funded through taxation. The current system of university Tuition Fees should be abolished.