Cheltenham has some of the best schools in the country, but things are going in the wrong direction under years of Conservative underfunding.
Any teacher will tell you they don’t have enough resources – 83% will still be worse off next year vs 2015, despite extra cash. Money has been stripped from building funds, leaving the schools our children learn in crumbling buildings. It’s a scandal that children still go hungry in Cheltenham schools, and that staff numbers have been slashed due to reduced funding.
Max has seen for himself what years of Conservative government has meant for our schools. Max attended primary and secondary schools in the South West that suffered from years of underinvestment in the hands of Conservatives, and is deeply worried that we are seeing the same now.
Max also hears every week from teachers about the pressure on schools in Cheltenham, and his partner Emma is a local school teacher.
As Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, Max would demand better for our town’s schools and children. It’s time for a change.
Liberal Democrats want to give every child in Cheltenham and the country the best start in life by investing an extra £10billion a year for schools. That money would come straight from the Remain bonus which the country would receive by staying in the EU.
Max would campaign for 20,000 new teachers to be hired with those funds, and for free school lunches to be extended to all children in primary schools - to end the scandal of children going hungry in our classrooms.
Other key Liberal Democrat proposals for our schools include:
- Ending teaching to the test by scrapping mandatory SATs, and replacing existing government performance tables (‘league tables’) of schools with a broader set of indicators.
- Investing £1 billion a year in Children’s Centres to support families and tackle inequalities in children’s health, development and life chances.
- Bringing to an end the crisis in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities funding by allocating additional cash to local authorities to halve the amount that schools pay towards the cost of a child’s Education Health and Care Plan.
- Raising the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 and increase all teachers’ pay by at least three per cent per year throughout the parliament.
- Ensuring that all teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues and that schools provide immediate access for pupil support and counselling