We see that education is in crisis at all levels. The most visible symptom of a sick system is certainly university tuition fees – more expensive than in any EU country. Our country is one of the most wealthy in the world, but the government claims we cannot afford to provide free university education – though several European Union countries can.
A generation of young people are leaving education burdened with debt. According to an Institute of Fiscal Studies report, 3 out of 4 graduates will still be paying the debt 30 years after leaving university – at which point the debt will be written off. This is a cruel policy – and one that fails to bring in significant revenue. The Green Party believes that higher education should be free. Developing the talents of young people is a benefit to our communities.
But the issue of tuition fees is just the tip of the iceberg. We have a deeply disaffected teaching profession whose professional expertise has been ignored, and who have been turned into form fillers. One-size-fits-all courses and bean counting tests have been introduced, that ignore the professional expertise of teachers to determine the individual needs of children.
The Green Party believes that children are over-assessed and teachers are over-regulated. Teaching to the test is not satisfying teaching and it’s boring for students, yet that’s what successive governments have obliged teachers to do. We need to free teachers and pupils to rediscover the excitement of learning, released from the shackles of a system designed with only economic competitiveness and preparation for work in mind, and with excessive teacher workloads burdened by bureaucracy.
Take a look at Green Party policy on education.