Spelthorne Labour Party better plan for education
31 March 2017

1) We’ll protect the entire education budget
We must invest in education if all young people are to have the chance to succeed. We’ll ensure the whole budget - including early years, schools and post-16 education and skills - is protected. The closure of the Brooklands site in Ashford should generate additional funding for at least two secondary schools to implement a sixth form. In this way sixth formers will not be dependent on travelling the long distances to Brooklands in Weybridge or Hounslow College for post 16 provision.

2) We’ll restore the role of Sure Start
There are now 763 fewer Sure Start centres than when David Cameron took office. We’ll put Sure Start Centres back at the centre of communities and oblige them to provide childcare.

We’ll deliver smaller class sizes
The Tories have spent millions on their wasteful Free Schools programme. We’ll put that money to better use to deliver smaller class sizes for five, six and seven-year olds to give children the best start.

4) We’ll tackle failing schools
The standard of education a child gets still depends on where they live. We’ll change that. We’ll create new Directors of School Standards to support local schools to improve and respond to the concerns of parents. These Directors will be based at the local authority and will audit, advize, support and monitor schools systems and practices to improve standards. Schools will be encouraged to work in partnership with benchmark schools whose practice is awarded as “Outstanding”.

We’ll make sure our children are taught by qualified teachers
David Cameron scrapped the requirement for teachers to have a teaching qualification. That can’t be right. We’ll require all teachers to get a teaching qualification and build their skills throughout their careers by keeping a Career Professional Development profile for which they will take responsibility and will form part of their Professional review.

We’ll build a gold-standard vocational route through education
For decades, governments have ignored the 50 per cent of young people not going to university. We’ll change that with a gold-standard Technical Baccalaureate and an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the grades. More vocational courses will be offered in schools as a start to a technical career and build on school partnerships.

We’ll guarantee all young people face-to-face careers advice
Young people who haven’t got the connections or the guidance to make the right choices are missing out. We’ll guarantee all young people face-to-face careers advice and support young people from school to work. This will take the form of employing Careers, Education and Guidance officers to service secondary schools across the Borough.

‘Labour in Surrey would pay for our services by reducing the cost of democracy. Having Spelthorne and Surrey County Councils is dreadfully wasteful and inefficient. It costs millions of pounds to keep twelve town halls, twelve chief executives and over 600 councillors going. If we streamlined local government we’d have the money to pay for vital services.’