Election 2024

Green Party manifesto 2024: All the schools policies

Party plans £14bn more education spending, an end to 'formal' secondary testing and Ofsted, and wants all academies under LA 'control'

Party plans £14bn more education spending, an end to 'formal' secondary testing and Ofsted, and wants all academies under LA 'control'

The Green Party’s manifesto includes plans to spend almost £14 billion more on education, scrap “formal testing” in secondary schools, abolish Ofsted and put all academies under council “control”.

The party, which is polling at around 6 per cent nationally ahead of the July 4 election, has said any Green MPs elected will also push government to give all school pupils free school meals, restore the Education Maintenance Allowance for sixth formers and insulate school buildings.

The Greens estimated the extra revenue spending on education as a result of their policies would amount to almost £14 billion.

They have said they would pay for investment in public services through “major changes to the tax system” including a wealth tax on those earning more than £10 million and on assets over £1 billion.

But the party also said it was “prepared to borrow to invest”, and has said a nearly £80 billion shortfall between its tax and spending plans by 2030 would be “funded by additional debt”.

“Allowing ourselves to be trapped in a self-imposed fiscal straitjacket is a false economy.

“Investing in protecting our climate now will save vast costs in the future, and spending on decent public services and fit-for-purpose infrastructure is essential for a flourishing future for us all.”

Here’s what you need to know…

School funding

  • Increase school funding by £8 billion, including £2 billion for a pay uplift for teachers
  • Invest £2.5 million a year to tackle the RAAC concrete scandal and provide the funding needed for schools to be “well-maintained and fit for purpose”
  • Spend £4 billion to insulate public buildings to EPC B standard or above. This is “primarily for schools and hospitals”
  • Increase sixth-form education funding by £3 billion over the next Parliament
  • Invest £5 billion in special needs (SEND) provision within mainstream schools. This means that all schools will have “fully accessible buildings and specially trained teachers, and local councils will have the funds to properly support SEND students at school and in getting to school”

SEND, inclusion and mental health

  • A “fully-inclusive” education system with “better-funded support for special educational needs”
  • Ensure neurodivergent children and those with special needs are adequately supported, including in the school system, to live rich and fulfilling lives
  • Provide a trained and paid counsellor in every primary and secondary school, and every sixth-form college
  • This work will be supported through bursaries to train counsellors from underrepresented backgrounds
  • Fully restore the role of the school nurse, ensuring that all schools have access to an on-site medical professional

School food

  • Give all children a daily free school meal, made from nutritious ingredients and based on local and organic or sustainable produce
  • Free breakfast clubs for primary school pupils
  • Schools to involve children in growing, preparing and cooking food, as part of the core curriculum, so that they recognise and understand how to use basic fresh produce

Assessment, curriculum and accountability

  • End “high-stakes, formal testing” at primary and secondary schools
  • Abolish Ofsted
  • Review assessment targets in schools so that arts and vocational subjects are “treated equally within the curriculum, children are supported to play and learn outdoors, and every child can learn about the climate and biodiversity crisis to equip them for the challenges ahead”
  • Retain a “full, evidence-based and age-appropriate programme” of relationships, sex and health education, including LGBTIQA+ content and resources

The school system

  • Move academies and free schools into local authority “control”
  • Remove charitable status from private schools and charge full VAT on fees
  • Private school places for children with special education needs will not be subject to VAT. This will be an “interim measure while public-sector capacity is built”

Other policies

  • Restore the Education Maintenance Allowance to financially support young people to extend their studies after the age of 16
  • Protect school playing fields from development through “rigorous planning controls”
  • Allow access to school sports facilities by local clubs and teams outside teaching hours to ensure “maximum use of a valuable resource”
  • Youth workers rather than police officers work with pupils in schools

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5 Comments

  1. Jo Bradley

    Lots to like in here but as with all Green policies, there’s no real sense of how this will be paid for. I couldn’t agree more with the points about arts, music and vocational subjects being given equal standing with academic subjects, feeding children properly, bringing food tech, food growing, climate and biodiversity into the curriculum. All great stuff.

    More worrying through is the abolition of testing. How will kids have any measure of how well they are doing? How will we know who is capable of what college level studies? How will British kids compare/compete with kids from other places who have all that? Not to say the testing system doesn’t need overhauling completely, but this is typical middle-class Green stuff, which will ultimately end up disadvantaging bright kids from poor backgrounds.

    Most worrying of all though is the sex-ed stuff. You only have to look at the internal meltdowns, legal cases and vicious trans activism hounding anyone out of the Green Party who agrees with the basic sex realist position that a man cannot become a woman just by saying so, and that men should not be able to self-ID into women’s safe spaces, women’s sports etc. There is no way that a sex-ed curriculum devised by this party would have any scientific or evidence base to it, as the party has been totally captured. This undermines everything they have to say on climate change, nature etc – you can’t pick and choose when to look at the science and when not to. These are not people who should be anywhere near the school sex ed curriculum. As someone who really cares about environmental issues, it bothers me that I can’t vote for them because of their total capitulation to trans activism (if you don’t know what I’m on about, look up Shahrar Ali and Alison Teal and see what the party has done to them).

  2. glenn jones

    Why tax private schools, it saves the tax payer 4.3 billion from the education budget and 575000 school places. It seems a completely churlish thing to do. Are you going to remove VAT exemption of adult education like vocational training or VAT on univerity fees. Picking on one narrow part it utter wrong

    If you want to help education just increase the basic rate of income tax by 2%. If everyone is entitled to it then everyone should contribute.

  3. Alan Thomas

    When you say you are going to remove charitable status from private schools what exactly do you mean? Are you going to close them down or are you going to sell them and, if the latter, do you really think there are the buyers to purchase all of the UK private school which are currently charities’? What will you do with the money this raises? Are you going to confiscate it or return it to the original donors.