Conservative manifesto 2019: the full list of schools policies

The Conservative party has published its manifesto for the 2019 general election today.

There’s little new for schools other than what the party has already announced. But here’s what you need to know.


1. The party has pledged to back heads and teachers on discipline. This is something Boris Johnson has already said. The manifesto states they will do this by expanding “our programme to help schools with the worst behaviour learn from the best”, as well as “back heads to use exclusions”.

2. The manifesto pledges to “continue to help teachers tackle bullying, including homophobic bullying”. However there’s no detail about how they will do this.

3. The party makes a commitment to “create more good schools”. Again, there aren’t any specific pledges. Instead they promise to “support innovation”, expand alternative provision schools and deliver more school places for children with complex needs.

4. There’s also a commitment to “build more free schools” – but no specific target. This is a big departure from previous years where the party has committed to delivering a specific number of new schools.

5. The party has promised to offer an “arts premium” for secondary schools to fund “enriching activities for all pupils”. The costings document states this will be funded at around £110 million for each of the three years from 2021.

6. The party pledged to “invest in primary school PE teaching”. Again, there’s little detail, but the manifesto adds they want to help schools make use of their facilities to “promote physical literacy and competitive sport”. The costings document allocates £12 million to this next year, then around £30 million for each of the following three years.

7. A total of £1 billion has been committed to boosting childcare that will go to schools and childcare providers to “open up more options to families… Our ambition is for 250,000 more primary school children to get onsite childcare over the summer holidays.”

8. There’s also £250 million for one year of capital funding to “help schools overcome specific barriers (such as hiring staff or capital investment in equipment and premises) which might prevent them offering childcare on site outside of the normal school year”.

9. The party has promised an extra £14 billion extra school funding (it’s actually £7.1bn a year, and was announced a few months ago. The stats watchdog has also warnedusing the £14 billion figure could be misleading). This includes the £780 million for special needs funding.

10. The party also reiterated its promise to boost per-pupil funding to at least £5,000 in secondaries from 2020 and £4,000 in primaries from 2021.

11. Teacher starting salaries will be raised to £30,000. Again, this is a policy the party has already announced. For teachers in the capital, the London top-up will be ON TOP of the £30,000. The party has promised this will come in by 2022.

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  1. There is also this on page 18:
    Young people are less likely to get into trouble in a well- disciplined school, which is why we will back teachers to enforce discipline. We are investing £500 million in youth services for young people. If they endanger others, we will put them in new alternative provision schools. If they endanger others, we will put them in new alternative provision schools. If they are offenders, we are trialling Secure Schools. New laws will require schools, police, councils and health authorities to work together through Violence Reduction Units to prevent serious crime.

  2. Mark Watson

    Genuinely hilarious to see such consistent responsible independent ‘journalism’.

    Over the last week SchoolsWeek has reported on the manifestos for Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens. Every single one of those reports was a simple regurgitation of what the parties said, and the spin those parties put on their proposals. Not once did SchoolsWeek analyse or critique what was put forward to the public.

    And now to the Conservative manifesto. Suddenly SchoolsWeek turns into full opinion mode – out of the 11 bullet points listed above there’s a snide comment against 8 of them. Compare this to SchoolsWeek’s “full list of schools policies” from the Labour manifesto – 27 bullet points without a single comment, analysis, opinion or question.

    Now I’m not complaining about what’s been said about the Conservative points. All political parties are full of guff and questionable soundbites, mixed in with downright inaccuracies, when it comes to a manifesto. But it just smacks of total editorial bias to see how differently the SchoolsWeek apparatchiks treat the different parties. (Notable that this piece is attributed to “Schools Week reporter” – did Freddie Whittaker, who wrote the reports on every other party’s manifesto, refuse to sign off on this hatchet job?)

    And after the Labour party manifesto, how can anyone take the Conservatives to task for not providing enough detail and still keep a straight face?

  3. What on earth is ‘physical literacy’? Literacy is being able to read, write, speak and listen in order to communicate and understand. Perhaps the Tories mean that pupils will learn about PE rather than doing it. 41% of free schools opened in 2018/19 had no on-site PE provision. It’s unclear how these schools could make use of their facilities to promote PE when they have none.