Education and Innovation

Reform the free school and academy system

The introduction of academies and free schools has fragmented the education system, sometimes schools have been converted to academies against communities' wishes. Our ultimate aim is thorough reform of the school system once more bringing schools under local control, rather than centralised or commercial control. We would ensure that no school is forced to convert to an academy. No new free schools should be approved, and no further schools would be converted to academies.  

Ending faith schools

Schools may currently be designated as being of a religious character. This means they can not properly represent the whole communities where they are are, as well  These schools would no longer be able to select by religion when over-subscribed. Schools would no longer be able to be designated as having a religous character. Current schools with a religious character would have that status removed. 

Open access to outputs of publicly funded scientific research

Everyone should have access to results of government-funded research. The Research Councils UK (RCUK) would continue commitment to full open access. We would support open access through RCUK providing grants to scholar-led open access journals and data archives. The RCUK would fund this by being exempt from article processing fees. 

Increase science research budget to G8 average

The UK has a very strong technology development and scientific research sector. However, research funding is at a 20-year low of 0.5% of GDP. To ensure future sector health, we would increase funding to 0.8% of GDP (G8 average). 

Ensure teachers are qualified to teach

Free schools are currently permitted to employ teachers without a teaching qualification We would require all teachers to have a formal qualification in teaching. Support would be provided to current unqualified teachers who wish to continue teaching. 

Modify rules on school term-time holidays

Parents may currently be prosecuted and fined for taking children on holiday during term time. Many parents may not be able to afford holidays outside term, or be able to take leave. While we support the goal of quality education for all, this creates an unnecessary burden on families. Parents would be permitted to take their children on holiday at any time.

Increase support for Early Years Education

We want our children to get the best start in life and early years education is an important part in that. We would update the framework for early years education and reduce administrative burden for workers in early years. 

Ensure school places where they are needed

Class sizes are vital for quality of education. Currently, there is a shortage of school places, particularly in primary schools, and local authorities are under pressure. We would reintroduce a robust legal requirement for councils to provide places and meet class size limits. Central government would ensure that necessary powers and funding are available to be able to meet need. 

Teach Personal, Social and Health Education

We would introduce teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education from Primary School.  Students would gain basic understanding of sexual relationships and sexual health.Learning PSHE topics early would help young people cope better with puberty transition and respect each other in future life. 

Teach data protection

Students would learn about the kinds of data they be asked for by service providers. They would learn what types of data may be risky and how to identify reasonable uses. The syllabus would also cover students' rights and Data Protection law.


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