This week the Labour Party held their annual conference in Brighton. Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner set out her vision of education from a Labour perspective and took the Conservative government to task on their education record to date. Here we summarise the key points of her speech:
- At the heart of the speech was the launch of Labour’s National Education Service – a cradle-to-the-grave system that will set out the education that people can expect throughout their lives.
- £1bn will be invested into Further Education services to deliver the new vocational T-Levels.
- Labour will give £500m a year directly to Sure Start, reversing cuts that have been made over the last seven years.
- She accused the Conservative Party of failing in their promise to deliver 600,000 free childcare places. Rayner promised to provide free, high quality childcare for every 2 to 4-year-old, plus extra affordable care for every family.
- In response to the lack of any ‘new’ funding for education under the Conservative government, Labour will implement a fairer funding formula, end the public sector pay cap and bring back national standards for Teaching Assistants and support staff.
- Labour would allocate £10m from the Departmental budget to end period poverty in schools, following reports that some girls were missing school because they couldn’t afford sanitary products.
- As Education Secretary, she would give local authorities the resources to find a school for every child, by helping successful state schools to expand. They will do this by investing £8bn in new school buildings and providing £13bn for existing school estates. Rayner did not elaborate on Labour’s plans for the free school system, nor did she provide any clarity on where the money would be found to fund the proposals.