General Election statement

14 years of neglect and underfunding have left education in tatters. It is imperative that all political parties address this with meaningful proposals.


Full statement

This evening, the Prime Minister announced there would be a General Election on 4 July.

As the parties begin their campaigning, we have a message for them.

Education must be a priority for any political party wanting to form the next Government.

Fourteen years of neglect and underfunding have left education – from early years through to post-16 – in tatters.

It is imperative that all political parties address this in their manifestos. Not in vague terms, with piecemeal solutions. But with meaningful proposals about how this situation will be reversed if they form the next Government.

Our schools are chronically underfunded, primary class sizes are the highest in Europe, and secondary class sizes are the highest since records began more than 40 years ago. Teachers are underpaid and overworked, resulting in the worst recruitment and retention crisis in a generation. That will not be reversed unless there is significant change to pay and terms and conditions of the education workforce.

SEND provision and mental health support for our young people is practically non- existent. We have a curriculum and assessment system that does not engage many pupils or give each of them the chance to thrive.

Many of our school buildings are in a chronic state of disrepair, literally crumbling away with the ongoing effects of RAAC and asbestos.

This is a grim picture for one of the richest countries in the world. It’s far from the ‘world class’ education system so regularly promised by our Government. And it just cannot go on.

The National Education Union will be using our voice to highlight what our 500,000 members want and parents and, most importantly, children and young people need.

Our message is: we need a Government to invest in education and to invest in our young people. If you value education, vote for education. Let’s give our children the education they deserve.

Daniel Kebede, General Secretary, National Education Union


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