The leaves are turning yellow and falling from the trees, and so that can only mean two things – the central heating needs to go on, and it must the political party conference season!
I will be looking at the three main parties education pledges over the coming weeks.
So let’s start with Labour
As Angela Rayner stood up to speak at the Labour Party Annual Conference at Brighton, there was one major question which for me needed answering. Where does the Labour Party stand with regard to the T-Level qualifications which are being promised by the current government?
Due to the perhaps slightly insecure nature of this government, I wasn’t quite sure how I should currently deal with the new raft of promised technical, vocational qualifications. Should I include them in our careers information, or wait?
Well, Angela Rayner announced that the Labour Party would invest one billion pounds to deliver the T-level reforms, so, presuming that the next government is Conservative, Labour, or a coalition involving one of them, I think we can now safely conclude that T-levels have been given the green light.
Here at CASCAID, we will update our vocational qualification information so that students can make informed choices – even though the first T-levels may not actually appear for 2 or 3 years. Preparation is key.
Ms Rayner announced that Labour would set up the National Education Service (NES), which will oversee these reforms. The NES will:
- Provide education that is ‘free at the point of use, available universally and throughout life’
- Promise to ‘tackle all barriers to learning’ – education for all
- Treat all forms of learning equally, including technical and academic
- Ensure that all education provided is ‘for the public good’. All service providers will be bound by the principles of the charter.
- Be accountable to the public, parents, children, and communities that is provides a service for. The NES should be ‘rooted in…..communities’, where all the participants have the power to enforce change where needed to ensure that the local education system meets their needs.
- Support the emotional, social and physical well-being of students and staff.
Ms Rayner stated that ‘teachers would be at the heart of the National Education Service’. To achieve this end Labour are promising to end the public sector pay cap – this would include Teaching Assistants and support staff too.
Labour believes in a ‘cradle to grave approach’ to education and as part of this life span, all-encompassing education umbrella, they are promising to invest £500m annually to Sure Start services. These services have seen their funding severely cut over recent years. Sure Start Centres are places where parents and children can play, learn and socialise. The centres are encouraged to forge links with their local Jobcentre Plus (Universal Jobmatch), to support carers and parents who are considering training and/or employment. It helps to give parents and carers more control over their lives.
So Labour is promising plenty of investment and support for schools, teachers, carers and parents. Next week, over to the Conservatives
Read the full speech here:
Read here our blog post which discusses T-levels