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Education

We believe there is compelling evidence that, as with healthcare, access to high quality education is beneficial to society and to the economy and that it should be viewed as an investment, not a cost. We believe education is a basic right and public good and should be free to all. This should include access to free school meals of good nutritional standard.

The shortage of primary school places must be urgently addressed and we support the need for smaller class sizes.

The policy of encouraging Free Schools and Academies should be abolished, and the money  be spent more fairly and equitably across the system.

The teaching profession should have a greater role in the policy-making process and the structure and functioning of the education system, as well as the national curriculum.

End to the marketisation and privatisation of further education, higher education and universities sector. This includes an end to student fees, and student loans to pay for them. The Coalition policy of tripling student fees has been a profound economic failure and the issue of a debt jubilee for existing student loans at some future date should be investigated, possibly in conjunction with a special one-off tax on high earners.

Exercise including sport should play a major role in schools, with education about healthy lifestyles a key part of the curriculum. First aid should be on the curriculum.

We call for support and development for genuine apprenticeships, especially in advanced technology areas, manufacturing and infrastructure industries such as building.

We call for a substantive programme for adult further education and learning.

We call for a serious review of whether the educational provision for medical and care staff at all levels is sufficient for the future needs of the nation and its NHS, and call for any shortcomings to be addressed.