Scottish Liberal Democrats have today launched their Education Bounce Back plan designed to make every hour spent in school count for more. This will be achieved through unprecedented new entitlements for pupils and staff and extra resources in every school.
The party's plan will introduce for this August:
- A teacher job guarantee
- More pupil support assistants
- Expansion of outdoor learning and increased provision of residential outdoor education
- Investment in local grassroots activities and sports with new funded entitlements for children and young people to use over the holidays
- A new programme of extra supported study for S4-S6 guided by the judgement of class teachers
- A legal right for families to both defer P1 and have it replaced with early learning and childcare
- The enhanced Pupil Equity Funding won by Scottish Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Budget.
The party says the plan is underpinned by the principles that:
- a child-centred response is required to get it right for every child
- every child and every teacher would benefit from having more resources and new entitlements, topped up for those pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds
- approaches should be focused on play-based learning in the early years, while the oldest children especially need new opportunities for high quality supported study
- children's social and emotional development is just as important as, and essential to, their academic development
- policies should be focused on how children can get the most out of every hour they spend learning in school
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie commented:
"Scottish Liberal Democrats will put recovery first. These are unprecedented new resources and guarantees that will help education to bounce back and help every child achieve their potential.
"We know how hard the last year has been. We needed everyone possible for our NHS. Now we need the talents of everyone possible for education.
"The answer isn't to make children sit at desks for longer. Instead, this Scottish Liberal Democrat plan will make every hour learning in school count for more.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats have been constructive throughout the pandemic and this week successfully secured an extra £80 million for education in the Scottish budget.
"Instead of a government that is distracted you can have one that is putting all its energies into the challenges people are facing day in day out. With my Liberal Democrats there is a chance for change."