Lib Dems promise extra £10 billion for schools and 22,000 more teachers

20 November 2019, 09:00

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to spend an extra £10 billion a year on schools if elected
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to spend an extra £10 billion a year on schools if elected. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Lib Dems have promised an extra £10 billion a year for schools and promised to recruit 20,000 more teachers.

The party will launch their General Election manifesto on Wednesday with Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson visiting a school and promising to reverse frontline education cuts.

Part of the reversal of cuts will be an "emergency cash injection" of £4.6 billion next year.

The Lib Dems insisted if they are elected to power in the upcoming election, then by 2024/25, the party will spend £10.6 billion more on schools than in 2019/20.

The money will help boost teacher numbers by 20,000 over five years, the Lib Dems said.

The party said it would attract and retain teachers by increasing starting salaries to £30,000 and guaranteeing all teachers a pay rise of at least 3% a year over the next five years.

The extra resources would also be used to boost support for children with special educational needs or a disability.

Some £7 billion would be spent on improving school buildings over the next five years, the party said.

The Lib Dems insisted £10 billion of what it claims would be a £50 billion economic bonus from staying in the EU would be used to increase school funding.

Party leader Jo Swinson said: "This is an investment in our children's future. Our schools should be world-class, helping every child make the most of the challenges ahead.

"But instead, they are trailing behind. The Conservatives have cut school funding to the bone and children have paid the price, especially those with the most complex needs.

"It is disgraceful that some schools feel they have no choice but to ask parents to chip in for supplies, and are closing early on Friday to balance the books."

WIth party Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran saying the Lib Dems will increase teachers salaries by 3% per year, and stop political "meddling" in education.

She said: "We will increase salaries by 3% a year, guarantee high-quality training, stop political meddling in the curriculum and end teaching to the test. Let’s trust teachers to give children the best possible start in life.”