'Extra £4 billion a year for schools' pledged

Green Party would also abolish Ofsted, end academisation and delay the start of school until age 6, its manifesto states

Green Party

The Green Party would increase school funding by "at least" £4 billion per year, abolish Ofsted, end academisation and reduce class sizes to fewer than 20 pupils, its manifesto pledges.

The party manifesto also includes an English Climate Emergency Education Act to support schools to teach young people about “the urgency, severity and scientific basis of the climate and environmental crises".

The £4bn funding promise compares with a Conservative pledge of an extra £2.6bn next year, £2.2bn in 2021-22 and £2.3bn for 2022-23.

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Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the Greens had “grasped the nettle on school funding”.

He said: “This is a necessary step by all parties if we are to end the funding crisis that has blighted education in England since 2015, resulting in larger classes, fewer resources, less subject choices and reduced support for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“We welcome the proposal to end academisation and bring all schools back into the control of democratically elected local authorities, empowering councils with the responsibility and accountability for education within their communities. This is a vital step in restoring democratic accountability of education to parents and local communities."

Commenting on plans to replace regulator Ofsted, he said: “We need an intelligent school and college accountability system that puts educational professionals in the driving seat, and supports children and young people to succeed in all circumstances.”

The manifesto, entitled If Not Now, When?, also states that formal education would start at age 6, similar to the Swedish system.

It states: “This would allow young children to develop at their own pace. Those under six will remain in early years education, with a focus on play-based learning and access to nature. Sweden has hugely benefited from using a similar system.”

The Greens say they would also emphasise arts, music and sports education, as well as promoting outdoor education.

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Dave Speck

Dave Speck is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @Specktator100

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