Liberal Democrats have said that the next Government must increase spending on nurseries,schools and colleges. The Liberal Democrats would not enter coalition with any party that does not agree to protect per pupil funding from nursery to 19, in real terms by the end of the parliament.
This is the equivalent to £5.2bn more funding than the Conservatives and £2.5bn more than Labour.
Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said: “A Liberal Democrat red line – a pre-condition for Government – is increasing spending on education. The Liberal Democrats will not allow our children and grandchildren to pay the price of this generation’s mistakes.
“We believe above all else in spreading opportunity, in tearing down the barriers that stop people from reaching their potential. Nothing is more crucial to that than education. So the next Government must increase spending on nurseries, schools and colleges. That means education spending must rise with both prices and pupil numbers. Without investment in education, there can be no deal with the Liberal Democrats."
Funding is currently protected for children aged between five and 16 but Liberal Democrats would ring fence education spending for two to 19-year-olds per pupil in real terms. This is compared to Tory plans which would see cuts equivalent to removing four starter salary teachers in every school in Britain.
In 2010 the Lib Dems put the Pupil Premium on the front page of the manifesto. This has helped children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds keep up with their better off classmates.