NEU launches education manifesto for the General Election

"This General Election is a watershed moment" says NEU General Secretary Daniel Kebede

7 Jun 2024| News

As part of its Value Education, Vote for Education campaign, the National Education Union (NEU) has today launched its manifesto for education. The union has identified ten key policy areas in need of urgent attention from the next Government.

1. Reverse cuts to schools, colleges and nurseries and increase education spending to five per cent of GDP.

2. End child poverty, starting with the removal of the two-child benefit cap and guarantee a free, nutritious school lunch for every pupil.

3. An engaging and inclusive curriculum, which embeds anti-racism and guarantees all pupils access to a broad range of subjects, including the arts and PE.

4. End Government tests in primary schools and overhaul 14-19 assessment to stop the exam factory culture.

5. Provide appropriate special needs support quickly and without unnecessary bureaucracy.

6. Recruit enough teachers and school staff to fill soaring vacancies, by making pay competitive again.

7. Abolish Ofsted and replace it with a collaborative and supportive system, focused on giving good advice and feedback to schools.

8. Keep teachers, leaders and school staff in the profession by asking us how to tackle unmanageable workloads.

9. Increase non-teaching time for professional development, collaboration and planning, especially for early career teachers.

10. Tighter regulation of social media companies to protect children from online harm and prioritise their welfare.

More detail on each policy can be found here: A manifesto for education | National Education Union

Between now and 4 July, the NEU will campaign on these issues – challenging Parliamentary candidates and the leading parties to address each of the ten points. We will also engage members, parents and the wider community to ask for their support.

Commenting on the launch of the manifesto, Daniel Kebede, general secretary of the NEU, said:

“This General Election is a watershed moment. It’s an opportunity for whoever forms the next government to give our children the education they deserve.

Any incoming government will face an education system in urgent need of support, in every aspect – from early years right through to post-16.

Through years of underfunding, schools have been forced to narrow the education experience of children just to balance the books. A seemingly permanent recruitment and retention crisis is the result of failure to address workload and real terms pay cuts over many years.

The scale of child poverty has grown to an alarming degree and teachers and parents know only too well the impact this has on learning. SEND and mental health services are completely inadequate to rising demand, creating more hurdles for learning and having the proper support in place.

As our manifesto shows, these issues are just the tip of the iceberg.

The NEU is not affiliated to any political party and we do not tell members which way to vote. But we are seeking serious commitments from the major parties on education, and we call them out when they fall short.

It is the duty of the NEU to make sure education moves up the agenda in the coming weeks. The cost of not doing so is simply too great.”