GE2017 - Culture, Arts and Education in the Party Manifestos

At UKYA we won't tell you who to vote for in the upcoming general election. We believe this should be your decision, but we want to help you to be informed on the offers from the political parties. So we have read through the manifestos and tried our best to extract any information relating to culture, the arts and education - issues that are very close to our hearts and hopefully, yours too! We do recommend that you read the full manifestos before making your decisions, but we know that you're all extremely busy juggling your creative careers and educations, so hopefully this will be of some help to you. 

We fully encourage discussion and debate, so feel free to let us know your thoughts on these manifestos over on our Facebook page. We are also encouraging everyone to get out there and vote - it's great to read that millions of young people have registered in the past few weeks, but there are still millions of young people who aren't on the electoral register, so please share and spread the word... VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

The information below has been extracted directly from the party manifestos, and presented in the order that they were released. The SNP manifesto is yet to be released and we will update with more information as it comes. 


THE LABOUR PARTY

http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017

Culture for All

Britain’s creative industries are the envy of the world, a source of national pride, a driver of inward investment and tourism, and a symbol of the kind of country we are now and aspire to be in the future. As Britain leaves the EU, we will put our world-class creative sector at the heart of our negotiations and future industrial strategy. We need to do more to open up the arts and creative industries to everyone.

We will introduce a £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund to upgrade our existing cultural and creative infrastructure to be ready for the digital age and invest in creative clusters across the country, based on a similar model to enterprise zones. Administered by the Arts Council, the fund will be available over a five-year period. It will be among the biggest arts infrastructure funds ever, transforming the country’s cultural landscape.

Labour will maintain free entry to museums and invest in our museums and heritage sector. Conservative cuts to the Arts Council and local authorities have created a very tough financial climate for museums, with some closing or reducing their services, and others starting to charge entry fees. The Cultural Capital Fund will have a particular focus on projects that could increase museums’ and galleries’ income and viability.

Labour will end cuts to local authority budgets to support the provision of libraries, museums and galleries. We will take steps to widen the reach of the Government Art Collection so that more people can enjoy it.

We will continue to mark the ongoing centenary of the First World War, and the sacrifice of all those who died during it. Labour remains committed to honouring the role of all who have served our country, including the Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish soldiers who fought for Britain.

Our thriving creative sector, from the games industry to fashion, needs a strong pipeline of skilled talent to sustain its growth.

Labour will introduce an arts pupil premium to every primary school in England – a £160 million annual per year boost for schools to invest in projects that will support cultural activities for schools over the longer term. We will put creativity back at the heart of the curriculum, reviewing the EBacc performance measure to make sure arts are not sidelined from secondary education.

Labour will launch a creative careers advice campaign in schools to demonstrate the range of careers and opportunities available, and the skills required in the creative industries, from the tech sector to theatre production.

Being a performer is a great career. But too often the culture of low or no pay means it isn’t an option for those without well-off families to support them. We will work with trade unions and employers to agree sector-specific advice and guidelines on pay and employment standards that will make the sector more accessible to all.

We will improve diversity on and off- screen, working with the film industry and public service and commercial broadcasters to find rapid solutions to improve diversity.

We recognise the serious concern about the ‘value gap’ between producers of creative content and the digital services that profit from its use, and we will work with all sides to review the way that innovators and artists are rewarded for their work in the digital age

Music venues play a vital role in supporting the music industry’s infrastructure and ensuring a healthy music industry continues in Britain. Labour will review extending the £1,000 pub relief business rates scheme to small music venues.

And we will introduce an ‘agent of change’ principle in planning law, to ensure that new housing developments can coexist with existing music venues.

We all need to work harder to keep children safe online. Labour will ensure that tech companies are obliged to take measures that further protect children and tackle online abuse. We will ensure that young people understand and are able to easily remove any content they shared on the internet before they turned 18.

The Media

The BBC is a national asset which we should all be proud of. Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will always support it and uphold its independence. We will ensure the BBC and public service broadcasting has a healthy future. Labour is committed to keeping Channel 4 in public ownership and will guarantee the future of Welsh-language broadcaster S4C.

Local newspapers and broadcasting in Britain are an important part of our democracy and culture. We are concerned about closures of local media outlets and the reductions in number of local journalists. Labour will hold a national review local media and into the ownership of national media to ensure plurality.

To protect democracy and media freedom, we will take steps to ensure that Ofcom is better able to safeguard a healthy plurality of media ownership and to put in place clearer rules on who is fit and proper to own or run TV and radio stations.

Local Communities

Councils deliver vital local services to our communities, but their budgets have been slashed by Conservative cuts. This has led to a deterioration of local services, from bin collection to road repair, and the loss of important community assets such as libraries, youth centres and women’s refuges.

Labour believes in devolving power to local communities but that requires the necessary funding follows. You cannot empower local government if you impoverish it.

A Labour government will give local government extra funding next year. We will initiate a review into reforming council tax and business rates and consider new options such as a land value tax, to ensure local government has sustainable funding for the long term.

Under the Conservatives, nearly £400 million has been cut from youth services and over 600 youth centres have closed. Labour will end the cuts to youth services.

Libraries are vital social assets, valued by communities across the country. We will ensure libraries are preserved for future generations and updated with wi-fi and computers to meet modern needs. We will reintroduce library standards so that government can assess and guide councils in delivering the best possible service.

Education

At a time when working lives and the skills our economy needs are changing rapidly, governments have the responsibility to make lifelong learning a reality by giving everyone the opportunity to access education throughout their lives.

To meet this responsibility, Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use. The NES will be built on the principle that ‘Every Child – and Adult Matters’ and will incorporate all forms of education, from early years through to adult education.

Labour’s schools policy will be built on the following four foundations:

  1. Investment – we will make sure schools are properly resourced by reversing the Conservatives’ cuts and ensuring that all schools have the resources they need. We will introduce a fairer funding formula that leaves no school worse off, while redressing the historical underfunding of certain schools. Labour will also invest in new school buildings, including the phased removal of asbestos from existing schools.
  2. Quality – we will drive up standards across the board, learning from examples of best practice, such as Labour’s London Challenge, to encourage co-operation and strong leadership across schools. We trust in teachers and support staff professionalism to refocus their workload on what happens in the classroom.
  3. Accountability – Labour will ensure that all schools are democratically accountable, including appropriate controls to see that they serve the public interest and their local communities. We will require joined-up admissions policies across local schools to enable councils to fulfil their responsibilities on child places, to simplify the admissions process for parents and to ensure that no child slips through the net.
  4. Inclusion – Every child is unique, and a Labour-led education system will enable each to find their learning path through a wide choice of courses and qualifications. We will invest in measures to close the attainment gap between children from different backgrounds.

To give all children the best start in life, we will reduce class sizes to less than 30 for all five-, six-, and seven- year-olds, and seek to extend that as resources allow.

To aid attainment, we will introduce free school meals for all primary school children, paid for by removing the VAT exemption on private school fees.

We will abandon plans to reintroduce baseline assessments and launch a commission to look into curriculum and assessment, starting by reviewing Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs. The world’s most successful education systems use more continuous assessment, which avoids ‘teaching for the test’.

We will tackle the teacher recruitment and retention crisis by ending the public-sector pay cap, giving teachers more direct involvement in the curriculum, and tackling rising workloads by reducing monitoring and bureaucracy.

We will also consult on introducing teacher sabbaticals and placements with industry to encourage interaction between education and industry and introduce broad experiences into the classroom.

Skills

Labour would introduce free, lifelong education in Further Education (FE) colleges, enabling everyone to upskill or retrain at any point in life.

We will set targets to increase apprenticeships for people with disabilities, care leavers and veterans, and ensure broad representation of women, BAME, LGBT and people with disabilities in all kinds of apprenticeships.

University

Labour believes education should be free, and we will restore this principle. No one should be put off educating themselves for lack of money or through fear of debt.

Labour will reintroduce maintenance grants for university students, and we will abolish university tuition fees.

University tuition is free in many northern European countries, and under a Labour government it will be free here too.

UPDATE: CULTURAL MANIFESTO

On May 22nd, The Labour Party launched their Cultural Manifesto in Hull. Here is the speech made by party leader Jeremy Corbyn:

"There could be no better place to launch our cultural manifesto, Labour’s plan to guarantee a ‘Creative Future For All’, than right here in Hull.

In the last Labour Government our then Culture Secretary, Andy Burnham, was impressed by how Liverpool had been transformed after being made the European City of Culture. So Andy proposed the idea that every four years we should have a UK City of Culture. And in 2013, thanks to a brilliant bid from Labour-run Hull City Council, it was Hull that was chosen. And what an inspiration you have been as a City of Culture

Hull had hoped to encourage an extra million people to visit Hull during 2017. A third of a million visited in the first week. And I’m not surprised. Look at what you’ve offered. 

‘Blade’ saw a 200 foot wind turbine blade, made locally at Siemens Green Port factory go on display in Queen Victoria Square.

The Poppies Weeping Window had 450,000 visits in just two months.

And finally you created the 'Sea of Hull’ by encouraging 3,000 local people to strip naked, paint themselves blue and be photographed in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Those photos by the brilliant photographer, Spencer Tunick, are now on display in the refurbished Ferens Art Gallery.

So in a very nice way, the people of Hull have literally made an exhibition of themselves.

I’d like to thank Hull’s Labour council leader Steve Brady for all his hard work in helping the city deliver for culture, along with Hull 2017’s Chief Executive Martin Green. Because we can see what the transformative powers of culture have done for Hull. Not just by attracting visitors and creating world class cultural events. But here in Humber Street, where a former Fruit Market has been regenerated into a thriving cultural hub, creating new business and new jobs.

The New Humber Street Contemporary Gallery next door has seen 60,000 visits in its first six weeks. It is estimated that being the UK City of Culture will bring a £60 million economic boost in 2017 alone.

Now Labour wants to replicate what we’ve seen in Hull across the rest of the UK, and here’s why: Our music industry alone contributes £4 billion to our economy each year. But every Adele or Stormzy has to start somewhere. And small venues like Hull’s New Adelphi and larger ones like Fruit give artists their first break as they learn their craft.

But over the last ten years in London alone 40 per cent of small venues have closed. And this Conservative Government has made matters even worse for artists.  Since 2010 they have slashed £48 million of funding to the Arts Councils in England, Wales and Scotland.

There is creativity in all of us. Labour’s mission will be to set free that creativity. We need to give people the opportunities for this creativity to flourish.

So today we unveil Labour’s cultural manifesto which sets out a bold and inspiring policy programme to encourage creativity.

We’re pledging £1 billion to launch a new Cultural Capital Fund to support our world leading cultural industries savaged by Conservative cuts. We will end austerity to boost creativity. It will be amongst the biggest arts infrastructure funds ever created.  It will boost arts, music, theatre and literature, upgrading our cultural and creative infrastructure for the digital age, and supporting our economy. The fund will also invest in creative clusters across the country based on a similar model to business enterprise zones. 

I don’t want to see just one city benefit from the transformative powers of culture every four years.

Our Cultural Capital Fund will help many more towns and cities like Hull benefit all year round.

The fund will be administered by the Arts Council over a five-year period and help to transform our country’s cultural landscape.

We will also protect and invest in music venues to support grassroots and professional music ensuring a healthy music industry across the country. 

Labour will review the business rates system to make it fairer to organisations like music venues extending the £1,000 pub relief to help small music venues that are suffering from rates rises. 

We will also maintain free museums and invest in our heritage sector which is central to both the identity and economy of local communities across the country.

Because access to culture is vital for the emotional and intellectual growth of our people, especially the young.

We want to unleash the potential of every young person, not just through education, but also through culture. 

In every one of us there is a poet, a writer, a singer of songs, an artist. But too few of us fulfil our artistic ambition. 

And under the Conservatives it’s getting worse. Per pupil funding for schools is going to be cut for the first time in a generation.

It has become so bad that headteachers are sending out begging letters to parents to make donations to keep the school running. This is a shameful state of affairs.

So as well as scrapping tuition fees, fully funding our schools and introducing universal free school meals – something pioneered here in Hull - we will go further.

Labour will introduce an Arts Pupil Premium that will allow every primary school child in England the chance to learn an instrument, take part in drama and dance, and have regular access to a theatre, gallery or museum. 

Labour will not only feed our children’s bellies, we will feed their minds and unleash their creativity.

The Arts Pupil Premium will provide £160 million per year to boost creative education and ensure arts facilities in state schools match standards found in many private schools.

We will deliver a creative future for all and culture for the many not the few.


PLAID CYMRU

EDUCATION

Plaid Cymru will ensure that our children are taught by the best teachers at well funded schools, so they have the skills they need to flourish. Plaid Cymru will give every child in Wales a chance.

We will raise education standards, by pledging to pay teachers a more competitive salary and improving teachers’ training to allow them to reach higher qualifications and perform better. Where we can be: An outstanding education for every child delivered by teachers who are passionate about shaping the next generation.

We will create an incentive for those students who remain or return to live and work in Wales after graduating, helping to retain our brightest young people and strengthen our economy. We will demand that our universities are properly funded and represented at a UK level.

Plaid Cymru will guarantee employment, education or training for any person under-25 looking for work. To ensure we have the skills necessary to prosper, we will also create a new network of specialist National Colleges of Vocational Education, for 14+ and post-compulsory education.

MEDIA

We will create a level-playing field with every other UK nation and give Wales the power to decide its own media and broadcasting policy. We will ensure that S4C receives the funding it needs. Where we can be: A real Welsh media that represents the people of Wales and what matters to them.


THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

http://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto 

Schools

Liberal Democrats believe every child deserves a high-quality education, wherever they live. We will:

  • Reverse all cuts to frontline school and college budgets, protecting per pupil funding in real terms.
  • Introduce a fairer National Funding System with a protection for all schools, so that no school loses money per pupil in cash terms.
  • Protect the Pupil Premium which targets extra help at disadvantaged children.

Over the Parliament, this means an extra £7 billion for school and college budgets

We want to improve the status of the teaching profession, and support and nurture teachers in their work – helping to drive up standards in every school. We will:

  • Support proper long-term planning of initial teacher training places, prioritising close partnerships with higher education and specialist routes such as Teach First in order to recruit the highest-quality teachers in shortage areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths.
  • Scrap the planned expansion of grammar schools and devolve all capital monies for new school spaces to local authorities.
  • Ensure that identification and support for special educational needs and disabilities takes place as early as possible. All new policies should have an assessment of how they impact pupils who have special educational needs, and ensure they adhere to duties under the Equality Act.
  • Education should equip children with rich knowledge for life, nurturing creativity and problem-solving, and instilling a passion for life-long learning. Children should be helped to develop the life skills they will need as adults, and every pupil should be given advice and guidance about their future. We will:
  • Protect the availability of arts and creative subjects in the curriculum and act to remove barriers to pupils studying these subjects.
  • Challenge gender stereotyping and early sexualisation, working with schools to promote positive body image and break down outdated perceptions of gender appropriateness of particular academic subjects

University

The Liberal Democrats will:

  • Establish a review of higher education finance in the next Parliament to consider any necessary reforms, in the light of the latest evidence of the impact of the existing financing system on access, participation and quality, and make sure there are no more retrospective raising of rates, or selling-off of loans to private companies.
  • Ensure that all universities work to widen participation across the sector, prioritising their work with students in schools and colleges, and require every university to be transparent about selection criteria.
  • Recognise the value of international staff to universities and promote international collaboration.

Lifelong learning

The ability to learn new skills or change careers is also vital in creating the opportunity for people to succeed no matter their stage in life. That’s why Liberal Democrats support the need for lifelong learning. We will:

  • Aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices, including by extending apprenticeships to new sectors of our economy, like creative and digital industries.
  • Work with the Apprenticeship Advisory Group to increase the number of apprentices from BAME backgrounds, ensure gender balance across industry sectors, and encourage underrepresented groups to apply.

ACCESS TO CULTURE AND SPORT

Arts, media and sports are essential for personal fulfilment and quality of life – they are part of what turns a group of people into a community. Funding for these organisations is put at risk with Brexit, and the Liberal Democrats will ensure that we continue to invest in our cultural capital. We will:

  • Maintain free access to national museums and galleries.
  • Move towards introducing ‘Safe Standing’ at football clubs, requiring the Sports Ground Safety Authority to prepare guidance for implementing this change.
  • Protect the independence of the BBC and set up a BBC Licence Fee Commission, maintain Channel 4 in public ownership and protect the funding and editorial independence of Welsh language broadcasters.
  • Protect sports and arts funding via the National Lottery.
  • Maintain current standards of Intellectual Property (IP) protection with continuing cooperation on enforcement of IP generated in the UK and working within the EU to ensure the continuation of territorial licensing of rights.
  • Create creative enterprise zones to grow and regenerate the cultural output of areas across the UK.
  • Examine the available funding and planning rules for live music venues and the grassroots music sector, protecting venues from further closures.

Internationalism

Defend international co-operation against the rising tides of nationalism and isolationism.

  • Maintain funding for the BBC World Service, BBC Monitoring and the British Council.

THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY

https://www.conservatives.com/manifesto

Theresa May’s Conservatives will deliver:

Prosperous towns and cities, underpinned by strong local institutions, the relocation of government functions, and shared cultural assets across the country.

A strong economy that works for everyone

We will remove the barriers that hold back small firms with big potential – and let them compete when government itself is the buyer. We will build on the success of world-beating sectors such as car and aero manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, digital technology and our creative industries, and help other sectors develop the conditions which they need to thrive.

Prosperous towns and cities across Britain

Our institutions of education, old and new, will be critical to spreading success. It is why we will back new scientific and technical institutions. It is why we want to see universities make their full contribution to their local community and economy, sponsoring local schools and being creative about how they can open up opportunities for local people, especially those from ordinary working backgrounds. Our towns and cities excel when they have vibrant cultural life. Britain’s arts and culture are world-beating and are at the heart of the regeneration of much of modern Britain. We will continue our strong support for the arts, and ensure more of that support is based outside London. We will maintain free entry to the permanent collections of our major national museums and galleries. We will introduce a new cultural development fund to use cultural investment to turn around communities. We will hold a Great Exhibition of the North in 2018, to celebrate amazing achievements in innovation, the arts and engineering. We will support a UK city in making a bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. And in this 70th Anniversary Year of the Edinburgh Festival we will support the development of the new Edinburgh Concert Hall, reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city and a cultural beacon around the globe.

Education

The greatest injustice in Britain today is that your life is still largely determined not by your efforts and talents but by where you come from, who your parents are and what schools you attend. This is wrong. We want to make Britain the world’s Great Meritocracy: a country where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will allow, where advantage is based on merit not privilege. To succeed, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, can have a world-class education.

For too many children, a good school remains out of reach. There are still 1 million children in primary and secondary schools rated by Ofsted as ’requires improvement’ or ’inadequate’. If schools across the Midlands and north of England had the same average standards as those in the south, nearly 200,000 more children would be attending good schools. We need to give every child in our country the best possible education if we are to provide them with the best opportunities in the world. To achieve that ambition we will have to go further in reforming our education system. So we will continue with our programme of free schools, building at least a hundred new free schools a year. We will prohibit councils from creating any new places in schools that have been rated either ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted. We will make it a condition for universities hoping to charge maximum tuition fees to become involved in academy sponsorship or the founding of free schools.

A Knowledge-rich Curriculum 

A Conservative government will strengthen the teaching of literacy and numeracy in the early years so that all pupils – regardless of background – get the best possible start in life. We will build on the success of the phonics screening test. We will expect every 11-yearold to know their times tables off by heart. To maintain progress as children go through secondary school, we will improve schools’ accountability at key stage 3. We will expect 75 per cent of pupils to have been entered for the EBacc combination of GCSEs by the end of the next parliament, with 90 per cent of pupils studying this combination of academic GCSEs by 2025. We will ensure all children have access to an academic, knowledge-rich curriculum. We will introduce a curriculum fund to encourage Britain’s leading cultural and scientific institutions, like the British Museum and others to help develop knowledge-rich materials for our schools, and we will ensure that assessments at the end of primary school draw from a rich knowledge base, and reduce teaching to the test.

World-class technical education

We now need to go further to improve technical education and offer young people a real choice between technical and academic routes at sixteen. We will start by replacing 13,000 existing technical qualifications with new qualifications, known as T-levels, across fifteen routes in subjects including construction, creative and design, digital, engineering and manufacturing, and health and science. We will increase the number of teaching hours by fifty per cent to an average of 900 hours per year and make sure that each student does a three-month work placement as part of their course. And we will extend our reforms to the highest levels of technical qualification.


THE GREEN PARTY

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/green-guarantee/

EDUCATION

We stand firmly alongside teachers, parents, and young people in calling for the end of privatisation in education. We should trust our teachers to teach, instead of burdening them and our children with endless and stressful exams and inspections.

Our policies:  

  • Properly fund our schools so real term spending per pupil increases and is protected. 
  • Bring Academies and Free Schools into the local authority system, abolish SATS and reduce class sizes.
  • Scrap university tuition fees, fund full student grants and greater public investment in further and higher education. 
  • Restore Education Maintenance Allowance and enable apprenticeships to all qualified young people aged 16-25.  
  • Free universal early education and childcare for all children, with formal education starting at age 7.  
  • Address the crisis of teacher workload, with measures such as abolishing Ofsted, and reforming the curriculum so that it is pupil-centered, freeing up teachers to teach.  
  • Ensuring that every child with Special Educational Needs or Disability has access to a mainstream education, in accordance with the UN Convention for Persons with Disabilities.

PROMISE TO YOUNG PEOPLE

Our promise to young people, written by young people, is that we will invest in education and opportunities, alongside lowering the voting age, protecting the environment, tackling the housing crisis and building a strong economy.

Our policies: 

  • Protect young people’s housing needs by reinstating housing benefit for under-21s, stop Local Authorities declaring young people “intentionally homeless”, and invest in community house-building projects to provide affordable, secure housing options for young people.
  • Create a fairer working world for young people by scrapping agerelated wage bands and raising the national minimum wage to living wage levels for all.
  • Protect opportunities for young people in work and education by relieving students of the burden of debt, scrapping tuition fees and restoring living grants. Guarantee the rights of young people to study, work, live and travel in the EU, including through schemes like Erasmus.
  • Reject the xenophobic Prevent strategy and pursue community-led collaborative approaches to tackling all forms of extremism instead.
  • Enable every young person to take an active role in democracy, introducing non-biased political education and promoting active citizenship, as well as lowering the voting age to 16.

YOUTH MANIFESTO

  • We will support the creation and maintaining of cultural enterprises through a tax on superstar performances to ensure reinvestment in local cultural and creative industries. We support the growth of creative industries, and a green economy is one which respects and promotes the role of creatives in society.

UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY (UKIP)

http://www.ukip.org/

EDUCATION

UKIP’s approach to education is one where no child is held back and where education is as responsive as possible to individual needs. Our children differ vastly when it comes to talent and speed of development. Our education system needs to be far more flexible.

STARTING SCHOOL: THE PRIMARY CLASSROOM
Without reading, writing, mathematical and learning abilities you will be held back in life and struggle to find well-paid work. UKIP welcomes the recent reintroduction of phonics to the classroom and we will make this the model for teaching children to read and write. We will renew focus on mental arithmetic skills and learning times tables, and encourage children to learn languages from year 1 of primary school, when they will find it easier.

WE STAND BY OUR 2015 MANIFESTO PLEDGES TO:

  • Abolish Key Stage 1 SATs. Seven is too young to be tested and this test narrows the curriculum and puts pressure on teachers to concentrate time and resources on borderline pupils.
  • Require every primary school to nominate a science leader to inspire and equip the next generation of scientists and engineers
  • End sex education in primary schools

SECONDARY EDUCATION
UKIP’s approach to secondary education focuses on a range of different schools: technical, vocational, selective grammars, and specialist schools.

A GRAMMAR SCHOOL IN EVERY TOWN The state education system of grammar, secondary modern and technical schools was designed to make a high standard of education available to all, irrespective of social background. Grammar schools improved social mobility by giving children from poorer backgrounds access to career paths they might have previously thought out of their reach. When the national grammar school system still existed, 25 per cent of schools were grammar or technical schools and nearly 65 per cent of their pupils came from the working class. They were not socially elite institutions, as anyone who attended one will confirm. The 164 grammar schools that are left no longer represent this classless ideal. Such is the high demand, it is often those with the most resourceful parents who gain access. We need 800 more Grammar or Technical schools so every child who would benefit can get a place. UKIP will open a grammar school in every town, adapting the old 11+ system to add transfer examinations up to the age of sixteen, so pupils who develop in an academic direction, but not quite so fast, will still have the opportunity of a grammar school place.

ON-THE-JOB EDUCATION
To give students a head start into a job, UKIP will introduce a scheme similar to Germany’s Dual Vocational Training system, in which students attend classes at a vocational school and receive on-the-job training at a company. Employment prospects for children who go through this system are high. Germany’s reputation for success in manufacturing and industry is second to none. UKIP will give our children the same educational choice to combine theory and practice in this way, so they leave school with technical knowledge and hands-on experience.

RIGHTING WRONGS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
The average student debt is £44,000. The poorest students who are now denied a grant fare worst of all, with debts averaging £53,000. These debts are often pointless in career terms: the latest figures from the ONS show 46 per cent of new graduates will not find a job needing a degree. The taxpayer fares badly too. Only around half of the money spent on tuition fee loans will be paid back. The quota system promoted by both Labour and Conservatives is not a good enough reason for taxpayers to pay for students to go to university. Students would be better off following another route into the workplace than taking degrees that are unlikely to help them get a job or guide them onto their chosen career path. The politically motivated decision to increase university places has deceived and blighted a generation. UKIP will stop paying tuition fees for courses which do not lead at least two thirds of students into a graduate level job, or a job corresponding to their degree, within five years after graduation. We will also cease offering EU nationals student loans when we leave the EU. Repayment rates are extremely low and 10,000 EU students currently owe Britain £89 million.

TUITION FEES AND MAINTENANCE GRANTS
UKIP’s long-term goal is to abolish tuition fees entirely and we will seek to enact this as soon as economic conditions allow. Meanwhile, to help the poorest students now, we will immediately restore maintenance grants. To plug the skills gap in these areas, UKIP will abolish tuition fees for undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students, provided they work in their discipline and pay tax in the UK for at least five years after they complete their degree. We will cover the cost of all tuition fees for medical students, provided they commit to working within the NHS for at least ten out of the fifteen years after they qualify.

PATHWAYS TO EMPLOYMENT
School leavers should have an idea of what future career they would like to pursue, and how they can achieve an entry level job in that career. UKIP will ensure effective career development assumes a more important role in the national curriculum and is assessed accordingly.

DEVELOPING ‘EMPLOYABILITY’
Whatever level of education you have achieved, your chance of success in the workplace will be influenced by more than your academic abilities. Employers want more from prospective employees than just good exam results. UKIP will introduce practical ‘employability’ lessons into 26 | UKIP Manifesto 2017 A Brighter Future for our Next Generation the careers’ syllabus, teaching ‘soft’ skills such as interview skills, team-working and timemanagement, making presentations, public speaking, networking, making a good first impression, and developing social skills. These might not come naturally, but they can be taught.

LINKING SCHOOLS WITH BUSINESS
Often, the local job market will determine career choices, so schools and colleges should establish links with local businesses, to tell students what they need from new recruits, to offer advice, and to show how business works.

ENCOURAGING TOMORROW’S ENTREPRENEURS
UKIP will include practical information about setting up your own business into the syllabus. Being self-employed is a sound career choice if you have a skill or idea others want to buy, and developing the skill to think creatively and ambitiously can only help in life and the workplace. Entrepreneurship education is becoming increasingly common in the USA, where it is seen to benefit students from all socio-economic backgrounds by nurturing unconventional skills and talents and encouraging them to ‘think outside the box.’ The next generation is the future of the UK. Our children need educational solutions that really work, not political dogma. Grammar schools, dynamic academies and technical schools in every town from Toxteth to Twickenham, combined with high quality vocational training and careers’ advice, will deliver real opportunities for our children.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
UKIP believes all disabled learners must have the legal right to attend either mainstream courses in mainstream education settings, or schools exclusively tailored to their needs. It should be their choice. To this end, we will reverse the policy of closing special schools, and ensure all other schools are accessible to disabled learners and that individual support is in place for each child.

WE STAND BY OUR 2015 MANIFESTO PLEDGES TO:

  • Fund all secondary schools according to a single formula  
  • Make First Aid training a statutory requirement so pupils obtain a ‘Basic Life-Saving Diploma.’ Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation will be included.

SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY (SNP)

The SNP are yet to release their 2017 manifesto - more updates here soon. This is what we know so far:

EDUCATION

We will protect free education. There will be no tuition fees as long as the SNP is in government. We will set ambitious new targets that will ensure that by 2030, students from the 20 per cent most deprived areas make up 20 per cent of Higher Education entrants.

We will continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent college places each year, and make it easier for young people to go from college to university.


FURTHER READING

a-n have put together a fantastic artists' toolkit for the general election. It includes tips for communicating with your candidates and highlights some key issues and messages facing artists that need addressing. It is backed up by some really handy statistical evidence and also includes a sample letter to write to your candidates. Check it out here.

forthearts.org have put together a prompt sheet which suggests three questions to ask your Parliamentary candidates, to gauge how knowledgeable and committed they are to issues facing the arts in the UK. Download it here.

The Creative Industries Federation have published a 'general election manifesto for the creative industries' which lays out 10 priority recommendations that will enable the creative industries, arts and cultural education - and therefore the nation - to thrive. Read here. CIF have also been conducting Q&A sessions with the political parties, which you can read on their website.

Laura Evans