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Party Politics: Part Two

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Party Politics: Part Two

Welcome to part two of party politics, where we will be looking into what both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party have in mind for education policy over the next few years, and how we can play a part in supporting schools through these changes. With the next General Election on the horizon, it is important to be aware of party manifestos and policy proposals to ensure that you are voting for the party that best aligns with your views. 

Conservative Education Policy Proposals

The Advanced British Standard (ABS)

The Advanced British Standard (ABS) is a post 16 qualification that would replace A-Levels and T-Levels. Students would be required to engage in an additional 200 hours and the curriculum would involve five subjects in a major/minor format, with mandatory English and Maths at a minor level. 

With the additional 200 hours of work required to complete the ABS, we predict that their stress levels will also increase. This is why we strongly believe that, in this reformed post-16 curriculum, Health Mentors will become essential figures within more schools across the country. They will play a crucial role in providing support and guidance to help students manage their stress and maintain their mental well-being throughout their ABS exams. They’ll be there to listen, offer advice, and ensure that students have the resources they need to cope with the challenges ahead.

Incentivise Teacher Recruitment and Retention

This proposal aims to address the issue of teacher shortages by offering a tax-free £30,000 bonus spread over five years to new teachers. This bonus would only be for teachers in subjects identified as “shortage” areas. The aim is to encourage more people to pursue teaching careers and to build a larger workforce of qualified teachers in subjects facing challenges in recruitment.

Health Mentors already play an important role in ensuring teachers don’t have too much on their plate. By taking on pastoral and emotional responsibilities, Health Mentors can be a very appealing asset for prospective teachers because they will have support for one of the most challenging parts of the job.

Ban the Use of Mobile Phones by Students during the School Day

This policy suggests prohibiting the use of mobile phones by students during the school day. Although not legally mandated, it is expected to become a standard practice for schools. Presently, about 60% of schools already enforce such policies, with an additional 20% permitting phone use only with teacher approval. 

Our Health Mentors are able to support pupils through this change. They already provide lunchtime animation sessions and sports clubs for the schools we work in, and will be more than able to help pupils find other, healthier hobbies, with the time spent without technology.

Relationships, Sex, and Health Education (RSHE) Guidance

This policy centres around RSHE education and includes provisions for schools to share RSHE curriculum materials with parents without concerns about copyright. Additionally, the guidance released to schools on how to address social transitions of transgender students insists on the involvement of parents, and advises schools not to accept every request of social transition and should take into consideration the context and seriousness of each case.

Evolve programmes build children’s character in areas such as: empathy, bravery, and critical thinking. These traits play a crucial role in understanding and developing healthy relationships that establish a positive foundation for the rest of their lives. 

Labour Education Policy Proposals

‘Teacher Recruitment Fund’ & ‘Teacher Pay and Retention’

The party plans to allocate funds, generated by the aforementioned private school tax, to address teacher vacancies and skills gaps. Specific strategies for attracting teachers are yet to be detailed but may involve career pathways, professional development, and workload management. Labour intends to restructure teacher retention payments into a single scale, taking subjects taught and location into account. 

Similar to the Conservatives policy to ‘Incentivise Teacher Recruitment and Retention’, Health Mentors play a huge role in supporting teachers by taking on pastoral and emotional responsibilities. Many of our Health Mentors also often progress into teaching to help with the recruitment crisis. They already have the pastoral experience and skills that the teaching role requires, as well as first hand knowledge of what the role entails.  background needed. These skills are difficult to train and one of the reasons why so many new teachers leave the profession early in their careers.

20% VAT for Private Schools

Labour plans to tax private schools, as well as end their 80% business discounts, in order to make  more money available for state schools.

If this policy starts a movement of private school pupils into state schools, Health Mentors are the perfect option for helping them make this transition a smooth process and supporting their integration into their new school environment.

Extra-Curricular Activities (“10 by 10” Pledge)

Labour’s “10 by 10” pledge  aims to provide every child with the opportunity to access at least 10 different weekly extracurricular activities and after-school clubs by 10 years old. 

Our Health Mentors already provide many opportunities for extracurricular activities in schools through breakfast clubs, lunchtime activities and after school programmes. Keeping pupils active and engaged is a huge part of the Health Mentor role and a valuable resource that will enable schools to implement this policy.

At Evolve, our commitment is to adapt and provide unwavering support to schools, regardless of political changes. By exploring how we can respond to both Conservative and Labour proposals, we ensure that we can offer the specific support pupils need to thrive in any educational environment. This approach allows us to be flexible and proactive, helping schools navigate new policies while continuing to focus on the wellbeing, mindset and performance of their pupils.

Keep up to date on live election poll data:

Read more on Labour’s Education Policies:

Read more on The Conservative’s Education Policies: