Labour and Tories ‘unlikely to deliver’ on education pledges, claims leading think tank
None of the major parties, including Labour and the Conservatives, are likely to deliver their “bold pledges” on education, claims the Education Policy Institute.
The leading education policy think tank said that none of the parties’ plans did enough to improve educational standards.
Tory policies could cause the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils to stagnate or increase, the report claimed, despite a promise to give “every child the same opportunity”.
Under their plans, “half of disadvantaged secondary schools will not be seeing real terms increases in funding next year,'' the report’s lead author Jon Andrews claimed.
And, while Labour’s commitments to extra education funding were deemed enough to improve standards, plans to scrap Ofsted could “offset the gains” of the funding.
Labour plans to abolish university tuition fees were also dismissed as being “of no benefit to attainment or reducing the disadvantage gap”, according to Mr Andrews.
The Lib Dem’s commitment to early years funding were praised by the report, but the think tank added that the party needed a more “carefully phased strategy” to be considered credible.
Natalie Perera, Head of Research at the Education Policy Institute, said: "All of the main parties are united by one thing - bold ambitions to raise attainment and close gaps.
“However, our analysis shows that while each party has some well-designed and helpful policies, none has a properly evidence-based strategy to meet their ambitions.”
Ms Perera also said parties needed to focus more on early years education and getting the best teachers into disadvantaged schools.
Labour has pledged a total of £25bn over three years towards education, as well as plans to cap class sizes to 30 pupils, ensuring qualified teachers and reversing cuts to the Pupil Premium.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said her party’s plans would “transform education standards in this country for every child”.
But, the Lib Dems have accused Labour of “copying” their pledge to employ 20,000 more teachers, claiming “they have no hope of meeting this target.”
Meanwhile, the Conservatives have promised a more modest £14bn over three years which cash for special needs support, boosting teacher salaries and building more free schools.
The party has also promised to give more powers to Ofsted, after Labour announced plans to scrap it.