Scottish Parliament election 2021: Labour's manifesto pledges on education
Here are some of Labour's key manifesto commitments on education:
- Increase teacher numbers by 3,000 over the course of the next parliament, with "a proportionate increase in support staff".
- Fund local authorities to "fill the gap between the promise of additional support for learning legislation and the reality of additional support needs provision".
- A personal tutoring programme to boost recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
- A "comprehensive review of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)", with a "key" focus on vocational education in schools.
- A "guaranteed completion opportunity" for every teacher in their induction (probation) year, "to ensure that they can gain registration".
- An end to temporary contracts and zero-hour arrangements for supply teachers.
More on the Scottish Parliament election 2021:
- SNP manifesto for education
- The Conservatives' manifesto for education
- Greens’ manifesto for education
- Lib Dem manifesto for education
- Who are the parties pitching them at?
- What if teachers wrote manifestos?
- Every pupil in Scotland should have a "personal comeback plan" (PCP) to help them overcome the challenges of Covid.
- The PCP should be "combined with a mental health assessment for every pupil".
- After the "disappointing responses" of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and Education Scotland "throughout the pandemic", both would be "fundamentally reviewed".
- Scrap exam appeals charges, in order to "address the disparity in appeals between independent and state schools since the SQA introduced charging".
- A "resit guarantee of a free place at [further education] college to take national qualifications", for students adversely affected by the 2020 SQA qualifications debacle.
- Extend free school meals to all primary school years.
- Ensure that money for schools to tackle the attainment gap, such as Attainment Scotland funding, "truly funds evidence-based interventions".
- An end to "all public sector support for fee-paying private schools, implementing the recommendations made by the Barclay Review to end their charitable status for rates relief".
- Keeping the school starting age of 4 or 5 – in contrast to plans laid out by the Scottish Greens and Liberal Democrats – but with more emphasis on play.
- A "right to play" and "free and equal access to an extracurricular activity of [every pupils'] choice within or around the school day".
- A "year-on-year expansion" of the funded early years and childcare (ELC) hours available, "with the eventual ambition of offering 50 hours a week for every child", requiring "a massive expansion of the early learning and childcare workforce".
- Scrap the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSAs).
Launching Our National Recovery Plan https://t.co/6RYzULQ6qJ— Scottish Labour (@ScottishLabour) April 22, 2021
- "Free instrumental music tuition for all pupils who wish to learn an instrument".
- Every school to "publish an annual plan to improve inclusive practices so that no child misses out".
- Give further education (FE) "equality of status with other education routes", including greater ability "to study part time, through distance learning, and with opportunities for those with additional support needs and those living in rural areas".
- Reform Modern Apprenticeships, with a "national apprenticeship plan" designed to "raise quality, tackle gender segregation and eliminate exploitation".
- Improved digital training for education staff and the party will also "offer digital devices to all pupils in Scotland".
- A "summer comeback pass" for young people giving free access to sport, transport, outdoor activities and culture, instead of "focusing on intensive academic catch-up over the summer holidays".
- Reinstate the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) and "re-engage" with the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (Timss) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls).
- The party would "not include work on zero-hours contracts as a positive destination for school leavers".
- An emphasis on "cross-local authority coordination rather than the extra bureaucracy and centralisation of Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs)".
- From the next school year, a guarantee that every primary and secondary school pupil has at least one week away at an outdoor centre.
- More funding of youth work and community learning and development (CLD), and "a national youth work development strategy to recruit, train and sustain a secure and qualified workforce".
🎒Our plan to restore our education system includes a personal comeback assessment for every child, and tutoring to help those left behind get back on track.— Scottish Labour (@ScottishLabour) April 22, 2021
To focus on our national recovery, back @AnasSarwar and make it #BothVotesLabour https://t.co/917xruEIBa pic.twitter.com/ZNj09dYkaa
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “This isn’t an ordinary type of election, it is a pandemic election and too many of the other politicians and too many of the other political parties want to take us back to the old arguments...I don’t want us to come through that collective trauma of Covid and go back to those old arguments.
“Imagine what we could achieve if we focused on what unites us a country, not what divides us.”
Mr Sarwar added: “Imagine if we obsessed about education in the next Parliament, imagine if we obsessed about the NHS in the next Parliament, imagine if we obsessed about jobs and economy in the next Parliament, imagine if we obsessed about eradicating child poverty, imagine if we obsessed about challenging the climate emergency.”