General Election 2019: Where do the main parties stand on education?

Education policy is a major issue for the parties this election (Picture: Getty)

Schools, childcare and student fees are key issues that the major parties have placed at the heart of their manifestos.

Here’s where they stand on education policy.


The Conservatives have pledged to spend £14 billion on schools, which it claims will equate to £5,000 for each secondary school pupils and at least £4,000 for each primary school pupil.

The party has also promised a £30,000 starting salary for teachers as well as an expansion of free schools.

Mr Johnson also said the party would invest £3 billion in a new national skills fund as well as £2 billion for a ‘college estates upgrade’.

The Conservatives say they will invest £3 billion in a new national skills fund (Picture: AFP)

The Conservatives have also made a commitment to ‘create more good schools’, promising to ‘support innovation’, expand alternative provision schools and deliver more school places for children with complex needs.


Although the party made headlines after a motion was passed at its annual conference in September to ban private schools, under the party’s current proposals, it doesn’t look like a ban will be coming into force any time soon.

However, the party has pledged to close tax loopholes currently enjoyed by private schools and charge VAT on school fees.

Ofsted and Sats tests at Key Stage 1 and 2 will also be abolished.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has set out plans to charge VAT on school fees (Picture: PA)

In a reversal of Tory policy, the party has said it will return the power of running schools to councils and head teachers rather than academy bosses.

Labour is also promising 150,000 more early years staff and to cap class sizes at 30.

The party is also reaching out to younger voters by promising to abolish tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are promising 35 hours a week free childcare for working parents from the day their child turns nine months as well as 20,000 extra teachers.

The party is also promising to scrap mandatory SATs and replace existing government ‘league tables’ of schools with a ‘broader set of indicators’.

Jo Swinson is promising 35 hours a week free childcare for working parents from 9 months (Picture: PA)

The party’s manifesto also says it will spend £1 billion on children’s centres, triple the early years pupil premium to £1,000, and replacing Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools.


The Greens have said they will increase funding for schools by at least £4 billion a year and vowed to cut class sizes to under 40 in the long term.

The Party says it will also end centrally-imposed testing and Ofsted inspections.

In line with Labour, it has also vowed to levy VAT and tax on private schools.

Brexit Party

The Brexit Party is backing ‘more parental choice’ in support of academies and free schools.

The Brexit Party’s contract with the people vows to back more ‘parental choice’ (Picture: PA)

In a bid to attract younger voters, the party’s ‘Contract with the people’, also says it will abolish student loan interest, as well as ending the target to get 50% of young people into higher education.

Incentives will also be given to businesses to take on apprentices.


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