Lib Dems pledge £7 billion for schools over next Parliament

The party says it will spell out how the policy will be paid for later

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Indy Politics

The Liberal Democrats are pledging to invest an extra £6.9 billion in schools over the next Parliament.

The party says cut the cash injection will be “fully costed” in its manifesto, which is due out soon – but offered not clue into where they would find the cash.

Tim Farron's party says it will spend £3.3 billion to protect per pupil funding in schools, £660 million to protect further education per pupil funding, and £1.26 billion to ensure no school loses out from the National Funding Forumla.

Tim Farron’s party also says it will spend £415m on protecting the pupil premium, introduced by the Coalition government, and £165 million to invest in continuous professional development for teachers.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Sarah Olney said: “Children are being taught in overcrowded classes by overworked teachers - but Theresa May doesn't care.

“While funding per pupil is set to see the biggest cuts in a generation, billions of pounds are being spent on divisive plans to expand grammars and free schools.

“This extra £7 billion of funding would ensure no school and no child loses out.

“We will reverse crippling Conservative cuts to school budgets and invest to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.”

Announcing the policy, the party cited figures from the National Audit Office showing that the Conservatives will be slashing the school budget by £3 billion in real terms by 2019-20.

The policy is being announced on the same day as Labour spells out its plans for a National Education Service.

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: “A landslide for the Conservatives would allow Theresa May to take parents across the country for granted and cut our schools to the bone.

“Only the Liberal Democrats can provide the strong opposition Britain needs to stand up for your community.

“Vote for the Liberal Democrats and you can change Britain’s future.”