22 May 2017
Commenting on the Green Party manifesto for the General Election, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“We welcome manifesto commitments from the Green Party, for education and young people, which chime with long-standing beliefs held by the NUT. The Greens offer clear, unambiguous pledges that would benefit pupils, parents and teachers alike.
“The NUT is pleased that the Green Party have committed to scrapping tuition fees. We have consistently said that access to further, higher and lifelong education should not be limited by exorbitant financial demands. The Green Party proposal to restore the Education Maintenance Grant is also welcome.
“The education system has become atomised in recent years, and the needless shift to academies and free schools extraordinarily costly. At the same time the pupil experience has worsened, thanks to a system of testing and accountability which causes schools to resemble exam factories. The increase in class size, which looks set to spread further with the worsening situation in funding, will inevitably lead to less contact time.
“The Green Party's proposals on funding are a step in the right direction, but will need to be spelt out. The Conservatives last week showed an acceptance that funding levels are inadequate, but their solution was to rob Peter to pay Paul - and still leave schools in a dire financial situation. The school funding crisis is deep, affecting 99% of England's schools and set to rise to £3bn in real terms cuts per year by 2020. Any party elected on June 8 must present a serious solution to a serious and immediate problem.”