Liberal Democrats pledge £7bn education funding boost

The party promises to reverse cuts, protect per-pupil funding in real terms and ensure that no school loses out under national funding formula

Will Hazell

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The Liberal Democrats have pledged to give schools and colleges a funding boost of almost £7 billion over the next five years.

The party said the cash injection would reverse cuts to frontline budgets, protect per-pupil funding in real terms and ensure that no school loses out from the national funding formula.

Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat’s education spokeswoman, said: "Children are being taught in overcrowded classes by overworked teachers – but Theresa May doesn't care.

"While funding per pupil is set to see the biggest cuts in a generation, billions of pounds are being spent on divisive plans to expand grammars and free schools.

“This extra £7 billion of funding would ensure no school and no child loses out.”

Tories 'will cut our schools to the bone'

The party’s leader, Tim Farron (pictured), warned that a landslide victory for the Conservatives in the general election would allow the prime minister to “take parents across the country for granted and cut our schools to the bone”.

"Only the Liberal Democrats can provide the strong opposition Britain needs to stand up for your community,” he added.

The Liberal Democrats said their £6.9 billion investment package, covering the whole of the UK, would be comprised of the following elements:

  • Protect per-pupil funding in real terms in schools (£3.3 billion)
  • Protect further education per-pupil funding in real terms (£660 million)
  • Ensure that no school loses out from the national funding formula (£1.26 billion)
  • Protect the pupil premium in real terms (£415 million)
  • Invest in continuous professional development for teachers (£165 million)

The Liberal Democrats said the plans would be “fully costed” in their manifesto, which would be “launched in due course”.

The party also said that it would reverse the government’s proposed funding for new grammar schools.

The spending pledge came on the same day that Labour unveiled its own promise to give schools a funding increase of £5.66 billion over the next Parliament.

Tes is hosting a general election education hustings with education secretary Justine Greening, her Labour shadow, Angela Rayner, and their Liberal Democrats counterpart, John Pugh. 

For a chance to take part, please register on our Eventbrite page. Tickets will be allocatedd on a first-come-first-served basis.

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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