Major revision
September 2009
Last amendment
September 2013
  • ePub

EDUCATION

ED001 This education policy is structured into the following sections. Sections 3-18 inclusive focus on learning for school-aged children. As outlined in the Introduction the Green Party believes that education is important throughout life. There is less need for specific policies on life-long learning as there will be as much autonomy as possible and most issues can be addressed through general principles; this is in no way intending to reflect the lack of importance we feel should be attached to it. We hope by setting out an appropriate system for compulsory learning that this will nurture in everyone a desire to continue learning throughout life.

ED002 Where necessary we have included a preamble to the policies to help to explain them

  1. Introduction
  2. Early Years
  3. School starting and leaving age
  4. Youth Schools
  5. Curriculum
  6. Assessment
  7. Structure and Accountability of Schools
  8. Size of Schools
  9. Admissions
  10. Different types of Schools
  11. Academies
  12. Grammar Schools and mixed ability learning
  13. Home-based Education
  14. Inclusion and Special Educational Needs
  15. Faith Schools
  16. Health in Schools
  17. Food in Schools
  18. Environmental Education
  19. Teacher Education
  20. Post-16 and Further Education
  21. Higher Education
  22. Life-long Learning

ED003 In accordance with general Green Party principles, decisions about education will be devolved to the most local level that is possible. However in order to ensure equal opportunities, accessibility and standardisation of qualifications there will be a need for monitoring by Local Authorities regarding issues such as the quality of education, the range of options offered and consistency of internal assessment. This will in turn be monitored centrally both for consistency and to share best practice.

ED004 It is important to preserve both diversity of opportunity and equality of opportunity for students (of all ages) in an education system which encourages social cohesion.

Introduction

ED010 The Green Party believes that education should provide everyone of all ages with the knowledge and skills they require to be able to participate fully and contribute to the society in which they live. This is not just academic knowledge, but social skills, life skills, and respect for other people’s rights and lifestyles.

ED011 We want to develop an education system that will nurture a desire to learn throughout life. We will do this through a child-centred approach to learning which builds on the skills and interests of each individual child.

ED012 Education should be at the heart of communities and for communities, and should promote equality, inclusivity, social and emotional well-being and responsibility.

ED013 Education is a right and an entitlement and should be free at the point of delivery to people of all ages.

Early Years education

ED020 The Green Party acknowledges that in many countries academic learning is not introduced before the age of 7.

ED021 Many teachers believe that it is more appropriate to start academic learning at least one year later

ED022 In accordance with the values outlined in the Introduction there will be an emphasis on social cohesion, play, relatedness and character building as well as knowledge and skills particularly in the early years.

Policy

ED023 We will move towards a system in which early years education extends until the age of 6. This will mean that academic learning is not introduced until the age of 6. That does not preclude those who wish to enter their children into school earlier from doing so.

ED024 Free and subsidised nurseries and early years education combined with Citizens’ Income would help to create structures that encourage and support parental involvement and nurture in these important years. We would build upon and continue successful schemes such as Sure Start.

ED025 All early years establishments must enable regular outdoor access for children.

ED026 As with our policies on schools, early years establishments will be small enough to provide community units with continuity and consistency of staff for all children and small enough to provide a safe and secure environment as a base for children’s exploration of the environment and social relationships. They will be within walking distance of children’s homes in urban areas.

ED027 There will be greater health involvement in these important years and health visitors will make regular visits to all early years establishments.

School starting and leaving age

Policy

ED030 We will conduct pilot projects and create all-through schools such as those in Scandinavia, which can alleviate the challenges of transition between schools and strengthen community cohesion and relations between staff, parents and pupils. This would be in the context of smaller schools (see Size of Schools). This may include a change at the age of 14 where social and emotional development suggests this is a good time for a new start in a more adult atmosphere and when aptitudes and likely career paths are easier to diagnose. From this age education may be provided in co-operation with workplace learning/training.

ED031 It will continue to be compulsory for all young people to be educated between the years of 7-16. From the age of 14 this may be provided through a variety of contexts including through skills and practical training, vocational placements and at Youth Schools.

Youth Schools

Policy

ED030 In addition to compulsory education there will be Youth Schools in every town as in other European countries such as Denmark for young people to opt to attend from the age of 14. This will provide somewhere safe for young people to socialise in the evenings, and structured learning will take place as it does in adult education, including a wide variety of courses, life skills, practical and vocational training. This will complement the Extended Schools programme which is primarily for activities immediately after school.

Curriculum for school-aged children

ED040 According to Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children's opinions on what and how they are taught should be taken into account. Children and young people's own interests and enthusiasms are the natural starting-point for productive learning, the roots from which a broad curriculum can grow.

Policy

ED041 Therefore the National School Curriculum will be replaced with a set of learning entitlements (listed below), in the context of which learners and teachers together will develop curriculum content to suit their needs and interests. Children and young people will be entitled to experience of:

  1. How to engage with learning, and how to develop speaking, listening and thinking skills.
  2. Emotional literacy and well-being, social skills and physical well-being including education in sex and relationships which will build on existing good practice. This will be achieved through a broad learning environment (see below) and through more rigorous teacher training which focuses on these issues. A greater emphasis on the arts will facilitate greater self-expression and help to deliver this. (see Culture Media and Sport )
  3. The development of essential numeracy and literacy skills and the existing core subjects including scientific literacy, technical understanding and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills.
  4. The environment, through academic work and on a practical level, including children and young people’s understanding of their own physical environment and enabling them to be actively involved in improving their local environment.
  5. Practical life skills such as basic cooking, Do It Yourself (DIY) skills, First Aid and managing of bank accounts.
  6. Citizenship. The agenda for Citizenship will not be determined by central government but instead by an independent body (such as the Politics Association). This would include, above all, experience of the democratic process through being involved in the running of their own school community as well as understanding the history of and the politics and political structures of the local area and country.
  7. Learning at least one language from the age of 7 in addition to English (and Welsh within schools in Wales). Children should have a wide range of languages available for instruction, and school children who are not native speakers, or are multilingual, should have the chance to develop and share their languages at school. 

    and a learning environment:

  8. Which is free from fear and the sense of failure
  9. Which provides education in social skills and relationships through cooperative and participative learning including group work in all areas of the curriculum and which encourages responsibility in young people, for example by enabling them to organise trips and activities.
  10. Which caters for and encourages a variety of interests, intelligences, skills and talents
  11. Which, through pupil-centred learning, will cater for and encourages different learning styles, appropriate to the individual and, if applicable, their Special Educational Needs
  12. Which enables children and young people to become self-directed learners, who will be equipped to take advantage of learning opportunities throughout their lives.
  13. Which promotes outdoor and physical activity and learning about the environment at first hand
  14. That is free from advertising and marketing, where the values and stereotypes employed in advertising and marketing can be explored, discussed and, where necessary, challenged.

See also AG612 on education in Agriculture

ED042 Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) should be age-appropriate, start at a sufficiently early age and continue throughout young people’s education. As part of the SRE curriculum, children should be fully aware of puberty before it happens, relationships should be taught as well as the physical aspects of sex and the potential consequences of sex before sexual activity begins. As part of SRE access to sexual health services should be made available in secondary schools, either on site or integrated with local young people's sexual health services.

 

Assessment

ED050 A healthy education system would include a broad range of cumulative, formative and summative assessment, including self-assessment. Assessment should be unobtrusive and in the interests of enhancing the learning of the individual child.

ED051 There is currently too much emphasis on national tests and fulfilling marking schemes, which can oppress teaching and learning and create a great deal of unnecessary pressure on children as young as 7. Teaching and learning are too often dominated by meeting targets and ticking boxes both for teachers and for pupils.

ED052 Currently many people specialise in their subject choice at a very early age. Achievement in practical and vocational subjects is still held in lower esteem than academic achievement.

Policy

ED053 In order to promote the aims of education outlined in the Introduction and encourage and give importance to the broad range of subjects and learning styles outlined in Curriculum (ED041), assessment of social, creative and emotional skills should be developed.

ED054 The Green Party will abolish external SATS exams.

ED055 The Green Party will abolish league tables in their current form as they give an over-inflated impression of schools with a higher ability intake which can contribute towards problems with admissions.

ED056 Ofsted Inspections will be revised with quality teaching inspections similar to those in Wales, combined with spot check inspections and staff and student evaluations.

ED057 Where school standards are reported this will be through value-added results and through the results of school inspections which will include school self-evaluation.

ED058 Outcomes of different types of assessment will feed into local and national strategies for educating the individual child.

ED059 School leaving qualifications will encourage a broad curriculum that gives equal value to academic, vocational, creative and practical subjects.

Structure and Accountability of Schools

ED070 In order to maximise engagement and good communication between parents, students, teachers and other staff and the wider community, there will be considerable efforts to ensure that all parties are democratically involved in the running of the school through School Councils and Governing Bodies.

ED071 Being a governor is a great responsibility yet there is often little training and no remuneration for the role, thus making it inaccessible to some.

Policy

ED072 The relationship between and responsibilities of the Head and the Chair of the Governing Body must be clearly outlined.

ED073 There must be clear systems in place for the Head and the Governing Body to report back to the rest of the school.

ED074 Schools will provide training appropriate to the role of being a governor.

ED075 Governing Bodies will be properly funded to acknowledge the high level of responsibility granted to people and to remunerate people for their time where necessary so that the role is equally accessible to everyone who wants to do it.

ED076 Students will have a right to attend meetings of the Governing Body and members of the School Council will have voting rights.

ED077 In accordance with Green Party philosophy the running of the school will be devolved as much as possible to the school within the above guidelines.

ED078 The Local Authority and Inspectorate will be involved in monitoring the structures to ensure there is consistency of standards and level of involvement and to help to share best practice.

Year-round Opening of Schools

ED080 ED080 Well-equipped school buildings represent a key community resource, which should be used to the full. In parts of the USA, schools/learning centres are open every day throughout the year, from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. Families, pupils and teachers select their own periods of attendance, what they study or teach, and when they take holiday breaks. School capacity can go up 30% or more, meaning (a) no rationing of places, or (b) less need to establish new schools, or (c) smaller classes, or some combination of all three of these features.

Policy

ED081 We will conduct pilot projects to explore the benefits of all-year- round opening of schools; at the same time, we will also encourage greater community use of school buildings and equipment.

Size of Schools

Policy

ED100 In the long run we would work towards class sizes of 20 at both secondary and primary level.

ED101 We would also work towards having smaller schools with a maximum size of 700 for secondary schools. There is evidence that smaller schools have a more positive ethos which can reduce behavioural problems. It would also enhance a sense of community and encourage a greater proportion of people to be involved so that they are more democratically run as well as reducing the need for transport to school.

ED102 Existing large schools will be supported to reorganise internally into smaller communities ('mini-schools').

ED103 Existing small schools will be protected, and developed as community resources rather than closed. They will be encouraged to become partners with nearby schools where possible, to share resources and specialist staff. Small schools threatened with closure, particularly in rural areas, will be encouraged to merge with one or more other schools within the Local Authority area. Each school would remain in their individual locations and retain their own identities but be managed by a single Headteacher working within one overall budget.

Admissions

ED110 Our underlying vision is that every child and young person will be entitled to attend their  ocal community school and for needs to be met on an inclusive basis.

ED111 Currently vast sums of government money are spent on Specialist Schools and Academies, both of which restrict how a school chooses to spend its money. In practice, schools often decide on a specialism just to get extra funding, regardless of whether that specialism is needed in the area. Children rarely choose their school on the basis of their specialisms as they are likely to attend their local school. Even if this weren’t the case, it would still not be appropriate for children as young as 10 to decide on their specialism and could discourage attendance at local community schools.

Policy

ED112 Therefore the Green Party will redistribute all available money to all schools according to their needs rather than their status.

ED113 Many of the existing problems in our admissions system stem from the emphasis on SATS and League Tables, both of which the Green Party will abolish (see Assessment).

ED114 Admissions structures will continue to be determined at a local level, which will encourage placing young people at the local school. In the longer term Faith Schools, Academies and private schools will conform to the same admissions criteria as Local Authority schools.

Different types of schools

ED120 Many different types of schools currently exist, including comprehensive schools, boarding schools, public schools, specialist schools and ‘alternative’ schools such as Steiner schools. In the state sector there are also specialist schools and schools for young people with special needs. All young people have a right to receive a high standard of education at their local school, regardless of their background, where they live and what their financial background or level of ability is.

ED121 The Green Party acknowledges that there is a need to embrace a diverse range of educational approaches. Ultimately this diversity will be available to all young people without discrimination of any factors such as financial background.

ED122 The state currently subsidises independent schools, for example through paying for places for children of parents working in jobs such as diplomats, the British Council, and the military sector. This highlights the need for the state to fully represent the diversity in our education system, for example by increasing the number of state-funded boarding schools.

ED123 There is a need to address why people choose to send their children to private schools. All comprehensive schools need to reach higher standards, with smaller classes and a diverse choice of subjects.

ED124 Children with a high level of ability or who are from a background where education is highly valued are likely to have a positive influence on the learning experience of their peers. Many of these young people are learning in the independent sector. This creates additional challenges to schools in the state sector and is to some extent causing social divisions in society. Overall standards are shown to be higher in mixed ability environments therefore the Green Party wants to create a system which facilitates and encourages greater integration.

ED125 We will continue to aim for all community schools to provide everyone with an education which will fit everyone’s individual needs through a diverse curriculum which offers choice and is appropriate for everyone’s needs and ability. (See Curriculum) However, we recognise that some people will still want to be educated outside mainstream schools.

Policy

ED126 The Green Party will offer a programme of voluntary assimilation of private schools into the state sector. Key to this is the provision of more funding to state schools to facilitate a higher standard, for example through enabling smaller class sizes and more individual learning. This will make state schools more attractive both to pupils, parents and teachers.

ED127 Schools which remain in the private sector would be classed as a business and have all charitable status removed; they would pay all relevant taxes such as VAT and Corporation Tax. All state sponsored scholarships would be directed to Local Authorities and remaining private schools would be asked to contribute to a national initial teacher training levy.

Academies

ED130 Academies are often introduced to deprived areas as the only chance the school has to attract funding. Buildings and land which belong to the state are leased to a private sponsor or outside body. In the case of an Academy this private sponsor decides what the school’s specialism will be, what the curriculum will be and what wages individual teachers receive. The sponsor does not have to know anything about education yet has the power to make these crucial decisions.

ED131 The sponsor has the power to appoint the Board which appoints the Principal and the Governors. In some academies the parents have the right to vote for as little as one parent governor. This also removes the democratic control by local authorities of institutions that are financed by national and local taxation.

ED132 Academies can often take power away from parents, teachers and pupils regarding how the school is run. As with Specialist Schools the funding being offered can only be spent on certain things, for example in the case of an Academy the money is released for a new building so the school cannot choose to have a cheaper building or retro-fit existing buildings instead and spend the remaining money on, for example, more teachers.

Policy

ED133 For these reasons the Green Party is opposed to creating more Academies

ED134 In the short term, where Academies are in operation, we would instigate a maximum 25% voting rights for sponsor appointees to ensure proper democratic and community representation on Academy boards.

Grammar Schools and mixed ability learning

ED140 The grammar school system decides which young people are likely to succeed academically when they are only 11 years old with a single test which many consider to be a poor indicator of ability and skills. For those who fail this can take opportunities away from them and cause them to lose confidence in their abilities at an age when they are only just beginning to explore learning. The system can also cause social divisions. Evidence shows that the overall standard of achievement is higher where people are educated in mixed ability environments.

Policy

ED141 For these reasons the Green Party will allow no new grammar schools and gradually integrate grammar and secondary modern schools into the comprehensive system.

ED142 We will encourage mixed ability learning in all schools as far as possible.

Home-based Education

ED150 We support parents’ rights to educate their children in settings other than at school.

ED151 Too often parents exercise this choice as a result of negative experiences such as children experiencing bullying, feeling restricted by the curriculum or intimidated by large schools and class sizes. The Green Party’s reform of the education system would alleviate many of these issues.

Policy

ED152 Where parents still choose to educate their children at home this would be supported by Local Authorities which would work to ensure that all young people have a broad and diverse education of a high quality.

ED153 All schools will be obliged to offer home-based pupils part-time school attendance agreements if requested.

Inclusion and Special Needs

ED160 There are many positive benefits for everyone in being educated alongside people with a variety of needs and abilities and this will lead to a more integrated society. The Green Party supports the principle of offering all people the opportunity to be educated in a mainstream school, and meeting everyone’s needs, whatever the level of need may be, in accordance with the UK Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

ED161 In exceptional cases it is not appropriate to be fully integrated into mainstream education for all subjects, for example where there are multiple learning difficulties. There are children with behavioural difficulties and emotional difficulties who need to be protected by temporary separation. In the longer term the Green Party hopes to address this through having special resource units in mainstream schools.

ED162 - The Green Party would investigate how best to ensure that schools are diverse, and not actively segregating ethnic or religious communities. Any such scheme should balance the need for a local school against making school a place where different communities’ children grow up together. Where school catchment areas lead to de facto segregation in schools, the local authority and schools should facilitate the children mixing with other local schools. Schools with large minority and excluded populations should be given extra support and funding.

ED163 - We would introduce more targeted educational interventions for groups of students identified as vulnerable to not do well academically based on their demographics

ED164 - We would grant schools greater freedom to recognise religious holidays, cultural celebrations and secular observations in the school calendar. Schools should have the freedom to mutually agree, between parents and teachers, ways of celebrating and accommodating time off for such yearly events

Policy

ED165 Every disabled learner will have an entitlement to an assessment of his / her learning needs. This will identify equipment and facilities required, curriculum differentiation and learning styles, and any educational professional and personal assistance that is needed

ED166 In addition to Special Needs Coordinators, schools will employ appropriate professionals such as counsellors. They will provide support and, if appropriate, early diagnosis for young people with mental health needs or behavioural problems. Where behaviour is preventing someone from learning they will be supported with an Individual Learning Plan which may include activities outside the school environment whilst still remaining on the school roll, including working with their families and within their local communities.

ED167 Local Authorities may explore ways of meeting particular needs, for example, one school in an area can cater for people with visual impairment and another school for hearing impairment.

ED168 There will be a programme to increase the capacity of all mainstream schools to include disabled children which underpins the UN Convention for Persons with Disabilities. Ultimately some special schools may continue to exist. This will include schools for extremely gifted and talented students, for example specialist music schools, dance schools and sports colleges. Whether to attend a mainstream or a special needs school is a very sensitive decision and will be taken by the parent and young person together with the advice of a special needs coordinator.

Faith Schools

ED170 Education should include a celebration and recognition of religious and cultural diversity and spirituality. Education should encourage critical engagement with, and non-dogmatic exposure to, diverse, sometimes competing, worldviews and beliefs - whether based on culture, religion or spirituality.

ED171 Within that framework the Green Party recognises the right of parents to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

ED172 We recognise the importance of human values and the moral dimension in learning, and the role they play in different belief systems.

Policy

ED173 We will seek to cater for these rights and needs through ensuring that children and young people can practise their faith in schools, for example by providing prayer space for those who need or wish to practise their religion regularly.

ED174 At the same time we will abolish the requirement for a compulsory daily act of worship. Schools which choose to continue to hold acts of worship will provide an alternative activity for learners who choose not to take part. Pupils who do not participate in worship will not suffer any form of discrimination.

ED175 Religious instruction, as distinct from religious education in understanding different religions may only take place outside of school curriculum time.

ED176 No publicly-funded school shall be run by a religious organisation. Schools may teach about religions, comparing examples which originated in each continent, but are prohibited from delivering religious instruction in any form or encouraging adherence to any particular religious belief.

ED177 Privately-funded schools run by religious organisations must reflect the inclusive nature of British society and become part of the Local authority admissions system. This non-discriminatory approach will be extended to staff who must not be discriminated against in faith schools due to their own faith either in seeking employment or during employment.

ED178 Opt-outs from equality and diversity legislation will not be allowed for faith schools and they will not be permitted to promote homophobia or transphobia on the grounds of religion.

Health in Schools

ED180 Schools and teachers will continue to have a duty of care towards young people. Whilst we recognise that parents are likely to have a significant influence on their child‘s personal development, it is very important to promote this through the school, as outlined in the Curriculum section.

Policy

ED181 There will be regular health checks in schools and a return to school nurses with health personnel trained to work alongside teachers in schools.

ED182 As part of their duty of care schools will have strong and effective anti-bullying policies which will recognise the vulnerabilities of children from different backgrounds to the majority of pupils or who are LGBTI or have learning disabilities.

Food

Policy

ED190 It will be a minimum requirement that all children are provided free of charge with a balanced nutritious lunch including local and organic non-GM food, free from additives. Vegetarian, vegan, religious and other dietary requirements will be catered for. Vending machines will only supply healthy snacks and not crisps, carbonated drinks and sweets. Schools will be encouraged to involve children in growing, preparing and cooking food. Not only will this provide invaluable and essential education in the importance of a good diet, but evidence shows it will greatly improve behaviour, quality of life and learning.

Environmental Education

Policy

ED200 Schools will undertake an energy audit of the school and demonstrate, annually, how they are reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to sustainability locally. They will provide environmental education through academic and practical work. This will include encouraging children to attend their local community school so they are within walking distance in urban areas. Schools will be required to provide their own recycling and compost facilities. In this time of rising energy prices schools will be provided with grants to retro-fit their buildings with insulation and install solar panels, solar water heating, be well insulated and where appropriate have wind turbines. They will also have rainwater and grey-water flushing systems. This is particularly important in schools so that young people accept and expect these as part of normal daily life.

ED201 For more information on School Transport see the Transport chapter TR100-103 inclusive

Teachers

ED210 Teachers are the key resource within the education system. They need first class initial preparation, continuing professional development and appropriate salaries.

Policy

ED211 A Green government will work with the teaching unions to reverse the process by which teachers have gradually been deskilled and their professional autonomy eroded.

ED212 Teacher Education and professional development including ongoing training will be revised in order to facilitate the provision of the above stated compulsory education system.

ED213 Provide comprehensive education for teachers, educational staff and others who work in schools including volunteers on all diversity and inclusion issues.

ED214 Equality and diversity will be monitored in recruitment and staff development for teaching and other educational staff.

Post-16 and Further Education

ED220 Currently Further Education colleges are run independently from Local Authorities. They receive a much lower unit cost per pupil than schools and the teaching salaries are lower.

Policy

ED221 The Green Party believes that Further Education colleges should be publicly owned by Local Authorities and funded at the same rate as secondary schools and be subject to the same requirements as schools regarding sustainability, environmental education and health.

ED222 Further Education will be accessible to people of all ages and offer a wide range of practical, vocational and academic courses and qualifications. In Wales, where demand is clear this will include proper provision of Welsh-medium courses within further education colleges.

Higher Education

ED230 As a Green government will be working towards sustainable living and not consumption-led growth, Higher Education, like schools and colleges, will need to change to reflect the kinds of knowledge, skills and vision that are needed. Our society will need people to be educated to the highest level of which they are capable.

ED231 Evidence suggests that the best results are achieved by people who have an active desire to study at this level when they feel ready, rather than be an automatic extension of Further Education.

ED232 Higher Education is essential in developing a civilized society. Education should continue to be treated as a process and not a product. It should enable a democratisation of knowledge and skills which are available to anyone who wants to study for a degree regardless of their age or background.

ED233 Higher Education is facing a funding crisis. Departments are closing, students are being forced to pay increasing fees for their education, lecturers are working longer hours and receiving worsening pay and conditions and the student to tutor ratio is increasing.

Policy

ED234 Under a Green government there would be no student loans as there would be no tuition fees and living costs would be met by Citizen’s Income. In the short term we will reintroduce student grants to meet living costs.

ED235 Due to the nature of the economic growth we have been experiencing there has been a shift in recent years away from manufacture and industry-related subjects. Whilst trends in the subjects students choose to study will continue to evolve there will be sufficient funding to protect minority subjects and to cater for potential swings back.

ED236 The Green Party will support a properly funded, accessible Higher Education system which would reverse these trends.

ED237 Currently the standard of achievement of students with comparable degrees and results from different institutions is inconsistent.

ED238 There will be much more rigour applied to ensure consistency through external accreditation systems.

ED239 Higher Education will offer real support to mature students and students with families. There will be a minimum requirement for Universities and Higher Education Institutions to offer a free crèche to students and staff, nappy changing and breast-feeding facilities as well as religious facilities such as prayer spaces to cater for people from a wide range of ages, religions and ethnic backgrounds.

ED240 Accessibility will be addressed through a combination of these institutions offering Widening Participation Programmes and creating a series of firm targets which will ensure increased social diversity.

ED241 It is essential that there is not a commercial bias in research undertaken in Higher Education Institutions.

ED242 There will be sufficient funding to encourage independent and ethical research.

ED243 The Green Party recognises that under the current system the ability of students transferring from school or Further Education to Higher Education is extremely diverse, sometimes depending on their social background or the school / college they attended.

ED244 Until this is no longer the case, in order to ensure full accessibility and high standards, institutions will be funded to offer an externally accredited Access Courses to students they consider to have the potential to study at a Higher Level but who are not yet ready for it.

ED245 Currently many Higher Education Institutions are dependent on international students due to the inflated fees they pay. In some cases this can lead them to accept international students who are less able than EU students who they reject.

ED246 Under a Green Government Higher Education Institutions will be properly funded by the state so that where international students are fee-paying the amount the institution charges will more accurately reflect the true cost.

ED247 At the same time schemes would be set up to provide funding both for places for less wealthy students from developing countries and at the same time to develop Higher Education in developing countries through partnership projects so that in the longer term they will not need to travel. Subject areas where there is a shortage of skills in that particular country (for example Medicine and Engineering) will be prioritised.

ED248 Currently some institutions have some of the worst records for their environmental footprint.

ED249 Under a Green government Higher Education will adhere to the same stringent regulations as large businesses and other institutions.

Lifelong Learning (including Learning in the workplace and Retraining)

ED260 As stated in the Introduction the Green Party believes that life-long learning will help to create a healthy society.

ED261 As adult education is constantly evolving it demands a flexible approach to new courses whilst ensuring core aspects of education are preserved even where enrolment is low.

Policy

 

ED262 There should be funded opportunities to study at any level at any stage of life. This is essential for the 21st century; it may be done increasingly on-line, but with local centres for study support groups and face-to-face meetings with tutors.

ED263 To promote accessibility it will be provided in town centres rather than in out of town universities where possible.

ED264 There will be a minimum requirement to provide free education for adults to learn essential literacy, numeracy and life skills including Parenting programmes, and to acquire skills and qualifications which will help them directly gain employment. This will include provision for distance and e-learning, following models such as that of the Open University.

ED265 Adult education should embrace and encourage learning for learning’s sake and as such funding for additional courses will be decided at a local level, without it having to be target-driven and focused only on qualifications.

 


Education chapter updates:
Autumn 2013 addition of item 'n.' to listing at ED041
Autumn 2011 ED222 & ED041g
Autumn 2009 - major revision as a Conference Voting Paper