Teachers would receive a 5 per cent pay rise if a Labour government was elected, the party revealed today.
Its general election manifesto commits to reversing cuts to public sector pay by giving above-inflation pay rises starting with a 5 per cent increase by hiking taxes for those earning more than £80,000 and freezing them for everyone else.
Green Party: Extra £4 billion a year for schools pledged
"Labour will restore public sector pay to at least pre-financial crisis levels (in real terms), by delivering year-on-year above-inflation pay rises, starting with a 5 per cent increase, to reward and retain the people who do so much for us all," the document states.
It also pledges an extra £6 billion in funding for schools in 2019-20, with another £2.3 billion for 2021-22 and £2.2 billion for 2022-23.
Responding to the Conservatives' double and triple counting of their school funding pledge, Labour uses the same trick, stating: “This gives a cash uplift compared with 2019-20 funding levels of £25 billion over the following three years, corresponding to the period of the government’s announced £14 billion.”
The manifesto says the extra funding will "ensure pupils are taught by a qualified teacher, that every school is open for a full five days a week, and maximum class sizes of 30 for all primary school children".
'Integrating private schools'
Labour stops short of following through on its conference vote by pledging abolish private schools. Instead the manifesto says the Social Justice Commission would be asked to advise on "integrating private schools and creating a comprehensive education system".
The party would also "close tax loopholes enjoyed by elite private schools and use that money to improve the lives of all children".
On free schools and academies, it says the centrally funded state schools would be brought "back under the control of the people who know best: parents, teachers and local communities".
"Budget and day-to-day decisions will be transferred back to schools, overseen by an accountable governing body with elected representatives," it adds.
And the responsibility for delivering education for young people "will sit with local authorities", the manifesto says.
Accountability and curriculum
Ofsted would be replaced and inspections would be transferred to a new body "designed to drive school improvement".
Labour is pledging to "end the ‘high stakes’ testing culture of schools by scrapping key stage 1 and 2 Sats and baseline assessments, and refocusing assessment on supporting pupil progress".
The curriculum would be reviewed "to ensure that it enriches students and covers subjects such as black history and continues to teach issues like the Holocaust".
"Pupils will learn both the science of climate and environmental emergency, and the skills necessary to deal with them," the manifesto says.
Other Labour promises for schools
• Taking "action to end ‘off-rolling’, removing the perverse incentives for schools to let pupils fall out of the system, by making schools accountable for the outcomes of pupils who leave their rolls".
• "Poverty-proofing" schools, with free school meals for all primary school children, "encouraging breakfast clubs, and tackling the cost of school uniforms".
• Funding more non-contact time for teachers to prepare and plan.
• Providing "the necessary funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities".
• An Arts Pupil Premium to fund arts education for every primary school child.
• A continuous, peer-to-peer school improvement modelled on the London Challenge.
• A new teacher supply service to "tackle the waste of funds going to private supply teacher agencies".
• Bringing back the School Support Staff Negotiating Body and national pay settlements for teachers.