As a UK educational charity, NAEE is politically neutral, but we do have an interest in what political parties say and get up to in relation to education and environmental policy. As it now seems distinctly possible that the leader of the Labour Party will be asked to form the next UK government after the coming election, there is a lot of speculation about what its education manifesto pledges and policies will be; in particular, there is curiosity about how it will deal with the pent-up expectation that some form of revised climate (environmental) education will be introduced along with schools-focused sustainability measures.

In the public mind, perhaps the most prominent policy is to charge VAT on school fees, but what else is there? There are some indications about schools issues c/o the Party’s website:

Labour has a plan for our schools.  A plan for high and rising standards for every child. Because … our children deserve better. Labour will:

Deliver high and rising standards in early education

  • With childcare that delivers life chances for children as well as work choices for parents
  • Boosting early language skills and spotting children who need support sooner

Support all our children to achieve and thrive

  • With free breakfast clubs in every primary school, driving up attendance and standards
  • Mental health support in schools & communities for all our young people
  • Improving how data is shared to pick up special educational needs and disabilities earlier

Create a better system for inspecting and improving our schools

  • End single word Ofsted judgements and bring in report cards with annual checks on safeguarding and attendance 
  • Inspect multi-academy trusts as well as schools themselves
  • Introduce a new focus on improving schools with new regional teams to drive better outcomes for children

Enable school staff to help our children to succeed

  • With over 6,500 more teachers in schools
  • All new teachers to be qualified
  • A new national voice for school support staff
  • A Teacher Training Entitlement for all our teachers
  • Everyone in our schools treated with the respect they deserve.

Prepare young people for their futures

  • With a broader and richer curriculum and a full review of how it’s assessed
  • A strong core of literacy and numeracy alongside access to sports and arts subjects
  • A new focus on speaking and listening skills
  • Ensuring all our children have the digital skills they need

Equip young people with experiences to get them ready for work and ready for life 

  • With professional careers guidance in all our schools & colleges
  • Two weeks’ worth of work experience for all students


This list lacks detail and hasn’t been updated since early January. There’s no mention of the climate or nature either. We’ll keep an eye on it as the clock ticks down …

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