On Friday 13th December 2019, the General Election outcome returned Boris Johnson as Prime Minister and gave his Conservative Party a large majority of 80 going into the new parliament.
All of the previous ministers involved with schools and education retained their seats, though a cabinet reshuffle is expected soon. We therefore wait to see if Gavin Williamson continues in the role of Secretary of State for Education, and if there are new facing arriving at the top of the Department for Education.
Earlier today, Boris Johnson made a speech on the steps of 10 Downing Street. It mostly concerned Brexit and the NHS. However, he said that in the weeks and months ahead, plans would be unveiled for better schools and education. It remains to be seen if, as the Conservatives have mooted, no-notice Ofsted inspections are introduced, since the proposals have been unpopular with teachers and education stakeholders.
What did the Conservative manifesto promised?
As we mentioned in our piece 'What are the main parties saying?' the main pledges on education were:
- School funding raised - extra £14 billion for schools across three years
- Backing heads on exclusions and teachers on discipline
- £1 billion fund for childcare
Beyond school funding, Conservative pledges include:
- Raising teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000
- Backing heads on exclusions and teachers on discipline, expanding a programme to help schools with worst behaviour learn from the best,
- Expanding alternative provision, and providing £500 million for youth services for young people
- £110 million ‘arts premium’ to secondary schools to fund enriching activities for all pupils
- Free school meals (FSM) to continue
- £2 billion to upgrade the entire further education college estate
It is now beholden on the elected government to deliver on its manifesto pledges, making itself accountable to voters.
Parliament sits again from Monday 16th December, and we will update parents again when policies affecting schools and education are brought forward. Parentkind will continue to represent parent voice to government, and advocate for the vital importance of parental engagement in educational outcomes for children. We look forward to being a strong voice for parents in education with the new government.