In the past, we have concentrated on the funding crisis in our schools and the negative impact on local children. That remains a concern addressed by our MPs and peers when possible. Liberal Democrats believe that a longer term vision is also needed. That is why our recent Party Conference included a major debate on our education policy, which was presented in a paper “Every Child Empowered: Education for a changing world”.
The educational landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years or so. Much is good: teaching is of a consistently higher standard and fewer young people leave education with no qualifications. But the system has its weaknesses. Our young people are more stressed and mental health issues have increased. Teacher recruitment and retention is a worry, the curriculum has narrowed squeezing out creativity and inspection is not looking at the welfare of the whole child.
Clare speaking in the debate said ‘Education is an entitlement for every child. We must make sure they have the right school place, the right curriculum and the right support to prosper.
“Society must also benefit: we need young people with skills to take up the challenges of a changing world. I believe that the policy is a start towards better education.
‘We need greater local accountability to make sure that the many different types of schools have consistent oversight.’