While the mainstream parties quibble about their record on education, the ordinary person can see that there has been a serious decline in educational standards for decades now, and that there has been a collapse of authority within the classroom. Our education policy is based on getting the fundamentals right and equipping students to think for themselves, while keeping PC agendas out of the classroom. We support returning to a tripartite secondary education system that allows pupils to study in an environment where they can hone their skills, whether intellectual, technical or practical. Our policy on higher education is that students should be able to study without going into massive debt, and that we should support students with tuition and maintenance grants on a selective basis like we used to do.
Re-instate Grammar, Technical & Modern Schools
We would return to the tripartite system of grammar schools, technical schools and 'modern' schools. We would also create new yearly opportunities for selection for pupils aged 14 and over to create a more flexible system that can reward students who begin to flourish academically in their secondary school years.
Phase out Comprehensive Schools
We support a gradual phase out of comprehensive schools as they are gradually replaced and integrated into the tripartite system of grammar, technical and modern schools. The widespread introduction of comprehensive schools since 1965 was an ideological attempt to impose uniform standards amongst students, and hindered many from developing a career path that suited their skills, whether intellectual, technical or vocational.
Phase out Academy Schools
Since being introduced by the Blair government in 2000, many academies have struggled financially and fallen into deficits. The whole idea of schools functioning as self-governing charitable trusts, and adhering only loosely to the National Curriculum, was simply a form of stealth privatisation in a sector where public governance is essential. We would return all academies under local authority control and the National Curriculum.
Abolish Tuition Loans & Introduce Selective Tuition Grants
We would introduce a UK-wide system of selective tuition grants to replace universal loans, while prioritising funding for the best qualified students and those in high-demand vocations, in particular STEM subjects. This would also end current Scottish government discrimination against English, Welsh and Northern Irish students.
Abolish Maintenance Loans & Introduce Selective Maintenance Grants
We would replace maintenance loans by restoring maintenance grants on a selective basis, based on educational attainment and vocational demand.
Restore the Authority of Teachers
We would restore the balance of authority in the classroom back in favour of teachers, giving them more freedom to use measures such as in-school exclusion or minor ‘punishment exercises’ as an alternative to overly-used and often counter-productive exclusions.
Focus on the “Three R’s”
We would tackle worryingly-poor numeracy and literacy skills by going back to the “Three R’s” as the core of education in our primary schools.
Bring Back Fact-Based Education
We would make sure kids learn more basic, core facts like they used to do, and only after those are established move onto the sort of abstract, ‘skills’ based learning which the modern curriculum focuses on.
Uphold Strong Ethics in Schools
We would challenge the excesses of political correctness in the school system, and imbue schools with an ethos rooted in traditional British values emphasising individualism, attainment, authority and our broadly Judeo-Christian worldview.
Teach the Young Real Life Skills
We would place a greater emphasis on ‘life skills’ throughout primary and secondary education, such as cooking and craft skills, with a dedicated weekly class for fifth and sixth-form pupils educating them on money, living expenses and working life.
End Sex Education for Children
We would protect children from attempts to impose sex education on them in their primary school years or in the early years of secondary school. Insofar as sex education is taught, it should be as part of a broader ‘relationship education’ which emphasises the social aspect of relationships and their role in family and community life.
Give Parents More Flexibility for Term-Time Holidays
We would ensure more flexible laws to take account of modern working arrangements and the expense of peak-time holidays, which can under current rules often make family holidays impossible for many.