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  • school sign
    Article: Aug 22, 2017
    By Oliver Craven

    The format of education hasn't really changed since Victorian times. Students are still packed into a classroom with a teacher who spends most of their time doing some variation of lecturing to the students, before they then apply whatever they've just heard to some real examples. This system treats everyone equally by treating pretty much everyone the same, using the same techniques and the same curriculum for everyone, regardless of their differences. Liberal Democrats tend to challenge traditional policies, and should challenge the current educational system too. We also tend to look solely to teachers for educational policy but it is also worth listening to the perspective of students.

  • John Marriott
    Article: Jul 15, 2017
    By John Marriott in Letter to the Times

    Dear Sir,

    In her article today on tuition fees Melanie Phillips is spot on. Indeed I would go further. She says it is 'more important to invest in sound vocational education'. Sorry, I would say that it is ESSENTIAL.

    The government could start by dusting off the 2004 Tomlinson Report, which advocated giving vocational education at least parity with academic education and which the Blair government, possibly fearing a backlash from the middle classes on whose votes it depended, largely ignored. It's ironically these same middle classes, whose offspring have been the main beneficiaries of the expansion of university education over the past thirty years.

    If we are to have a future after Brexit we need to start to make more things instead of just importing them. We can't just rely on things like financial services to make our way in the world. Working with your brain can only take you so far. But working with your brain and your hands has got to be the way forward.

    John Marriott,

    18 St Hugh's Drive,

    North Hykeham,

    Lincoln LN6 8RD

    Tel: 01522 687965

  • Layla Moran
    Article: Jul 12, 2017

    Government plans to axe free school lunches have been dropped in another humiliating u-turn. Commenting on the news, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran said:

    "Theresa May was worried that she would go down in history as the lunch snatcher. Dropping these plans is just another humiliating climb down, in what seems to becoming a long list for the Prime Minister.

  • Lib Dem school lunches image
    Article: Jul 4, 2017

    "Theresa May was worried that she would go down in history as the lunch snatcher. Dropping these plans is just another humiliating climb down, in what seems to becoming a long list for the Prime Minister.

    "This government has made so many u-turns on so many issues we are all dizzy. It's hard to know what they believe any more.

  • school meals
    Article: May 31, 2017

    Up to 400 children living in poverty across South Holland and the Deepings will have their lunches taken away under Theresa May's plans to abolish universal free school lunches for infants, Liberal Democrat research has revealed. In total 2,950 children in South Holland and the Deepings are set to lose out under the plans.

  • Anita at Bourne Academy.jpg
    Article: May 26, 2017
    By Richard Adams Education editor in The Guardian

    IFS says funding will fall by nearly 3% by 2021, with the Education Policy Institute thinktank drawing similar conclusions

    Schools in England will face real-terms funding cuts for years to come if the Conservatives win the general election, according to analyses by two thinktanks. The figures show year-on-year falls over the coming parliamentary term despite a Conservative manifesto promise to redirect £1bn in additional funding to state schools by slashing free school meals for infants.

  • John Marriott
    Article: May 25, 2017
    By John Marriott in Letter to the Guardian

    Dear Sir,

    Yes, I got a 'free' university education back in the 1960s. Mind you, my County grant meant that I had to work during every vacation - and a great experience it was mixing with ordinary people after a rather cocooned life at a boys' grammar school and four years at Cambridge.

    However, I was one of a very small minority of my contemporaries to receive higher education in a relatively small number of institutions offering degrees, certificates and diplomas. Today, with around 45% of school leavers succumbing to the blandishments of a seemingly ever growing number of 'universities', with teaching staff to pay and research to finance, it is just not financially feasible to offer the kind of assistance I was lucky enough to receive.

    Like the Lib Dems in 2010, with little chance of forming the next government (although shooting themselves in the foot could still give the Tories some worries), Labour can afford to indulge itself and promise the earth. If I were contemplating studying for a degree today I would think twice before signing up to a 'pledge' to abolish tuition fees. If I were a graduate already paying off their debts, I would be pretty brassed off at the thought of future generations getting a free ride.


    John Marriott,

    18 St Hugh's Drive,

    North Hykeham,

    Lincoln LN6 8RD

  • School Meals
    Article: May 21, 2017
    By Michael Savage, policy editor in The Observer

    Move could undermine key Tory target of helping families 'just about managing', as concerns grow over social care pledge

    About 900,000 children from struggling families will lose their right to free school lunches under a cut unveiled in the Conservative manifesto.

    The total includes more than 600,000 young children recently defined as coming from "ordinary working families", according to analysis for the Observer by the Education Policy Institute.

  • Nick Clegg - Free School Meals
    Article: May 19, 2017
    By Nick Clegg in The Guardian

    The Liberal Democrats pushed for the introduction of free infant school lunches in 2014. This Conservative U-turn cynically targets the vulnerable.

    So much for compassionate Conservatism. So much for helping the "just about managing". During my time as deputy prime minister, I repeatedly blocked the Conservatives from proceeding with tax, welfare, education and pensions policies that did not cater for the neediest in society. I became wearily familiar with the Conservative party's habit of placing greater priority on the needs of "their" voters than those of society at large.