TORY MANIFESTO; EDUCATION
No real surprises-supply side reforms, raising teacher’s professional status, more discipline and rigorous curriculum and accountability
Tory education policies have been flagged in advance so no real surprises here. The Education Section of their Manifesto begins by saying ‘Improving our school system is the most important thing we can do to make opportunity more equal and address our declining social mobility. “We will improve standards for all pupils and close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest. We will enhance the prestige and quality of the teaching profession, and give heads and teachers tough new powers of discipline. We will restore rigour to the curriculum and exam system and give every parent access to a good school”
Teachers ‘We will enhance the prestige and quality of the teaching profession, We will take steps to enhance the status of the teaching profession and ensure it attracts the best people. We will expand Teach First and introduce two new programmes – Teach Now, for people looking to change career, and Troops to Teachers, for ex-service personnel – to get experienced, high-quality people into the profession.’
Discipline ‘We will make it easier for teachers to deal with violent incidents and remove disruptive pupils or items from the classroom and give heads and teachers tough new powers of discipline’
Curriculum ‘We will restore rigour to the curriculum and exam system and give every parent access to a good school. Every child who is capable of reading should be doing so after two years in primary school. To make this happen, we will promote the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics and ensure that teachers are properly trained to teach using this method. To provide parents with the reassurance they need that their child is making progress, we will establish a simple reading test at the age of six. We will reform the National Curriculum so that it is more challenging and based on evidence about what knowledge can be mastered by children at different ages. We will ensure that the primary curriculum is organised around subjects like Maths, Science and History.(ie not Rose Report Vision)
Setting ‘We will encourage setting so those who are struggling get extra help and the most able are stretched.’
Testing and Accountability ‘We will keep Key Stage 2 tests and league tables. We will reform them to make them more rigorous. We will make other exams more robust by giving universities and academics more say over their form and content.’ A Conservative government will reform school league tables so that schools can demonstrate they are stretching the most able and raising the attainment of the less able. And will ‘allow all state schools the freedom to offer the same high quality international exams that private schools offer – including giving every pupil the chance to study separate sciences at GCSE; and publish all performance data currently kept secret by the Department for Children, Schools and Families; and, establish a free online database of exam papers and marking schemes.
Vocational ‘We want to develop proper vocational and technical education that engages young people and meets the needs of modern business. So we will establish Technical Academies across England, starting in at least twelve cities. create 20,000 additional young apprenticeships; allow schools and colleges to offer workplace training’
Pupil Premium ..’we will introduce a pupil premium – extra funding for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.’
New Schools The Tories will ‘break down barriers to entry so that any good education provider can set up a new Academy school. Our schools revolution will create a new generation of good small schools with smaller class sizes and high standards of discipline.’ Tories are keen on parent led groups particularly but also charities and co-ops and latterly have been warming to the idea of for profits running schools. Local authorities will no longer run competitions for new schools.
Academies They will ‘make sure Academies have the freedoms that helped to make them so successful in the first place; And any school that is in special measures for more than a year will be taken over immediately by a successful Academy provider. Best schools able to become Academies too.
SEN ‘The most vulnerable children deserve the very highest quality of care, so we will call a moratorium on the ideologically-driven closure of special schools. We will end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools.’
Ofsted ‘We will ensure that the schools inspectorate Ofsted adopts a more rigorous and targeted inspection regime, reporting on performance only in the core areas related to teaching and learning. And any school that is in special measures for more than a year will be taken over immediately by a successful Academy provider’ and ‘ ensure failing schools are inspected more often – with the best schools visited less frequently.’
Careers Advice The Tories will establish a £100m all age independent careers information and advice service.