Policy

Invest in teachers

Schools should have the freedom to spend their budgets as they see fit and should be encouraged to invest in knowledgeable, enthusiastic and well qualified teachers. Over the last decade we have seen vast sums wasted on expensive school IT systems, often with maintenance, software licensing and other excessive or unnecessary costs attached. To make matters worse, schools are often locked into these costly systems for long periods, reducing schools' abilities to adapt to new technology and provide the best education to their students.

Reduce class sizes

Class sizes have a measurable impact on the performance of students of all ages. We would set a maximum class size, not as a guideline, but as a requirement for all schools within the UK with exceptions for schools where parents and governors actively want to see larger class sizes and are using some other methods to mitigate any negative impact.  

Lifetime access to education 

The best time to learn is in the earliest years, but for many people life events can mean that they miss out on education, or due to personal issues they may be incapable of taking full advantage of the education available to them up to the age of 18. We are committed to providing easy access to both basic education and higher education for all; we believe that the UK can build on the excellent foundations already laid by the Open University. University tuition fees should be frozen and eventually scrapped.

Abolish university tuition fees

Labour introduced them, the Tories and Lib Dems have increased them too.

We will abolish them.

Demand accountability from government suppliers.

The delivery of services to government is littered with stories of companies exceeding budgets and delivering late. We will implement penalties for significant performance failures for government suppliers. If a company fails to deliver a government within 25% of budget or 25% of the deadline then that company (its parent organisations and subsidiaries) would be banned from providing services or products to the government for at least 2 years.

Reform the House of Lords

Reform of the House of Lords is necessary to ensure that the Lords remains relevant and effective as an expert body, and acts as a proper check on the activities of the Commons. However the scope, scale and specifics of any reform are something that needs to be discussed at length and in public. We all have a stake in the future shape of of our democracy.

We intend to start a national discussion about the shape of the Lords and how it can be improved without damaging the work that the Lords does.

Democratise the City of London

We support the democratisation of the City of London. Given the City's huge impact on the UK it is important that it is accountable and transparent.

Independent public spending reviews

An independent audit of public sector spending and processes should be carried out annually, with bi-annual review of spending to identify where spending reductions or greater returns are possible without reducing the overall effectiveness of the public sector.

Full disclosure of government deals with corporations

The detail of the government's deals and agreements with suppliers and other businesses should be disclosed. It is not acceptable that the government should be allowed to protect information regarding its commercial activities on the basis of confidentiality.  

Make parliament work

To improve the quality of legislation we wish to see a much higher level of pre-legislative scrutiny for every bill before parliament.

We would investigate measures intended to reduce the power of the Whips in the Commons.

We would investigate the possibility of permanent elected legislative committees for each government department in the Commons rather than ad hoc public bill committees. There are a number of approaches that could work in this area and we would aim to trial a number of options to decide which is likely to be the most effective.

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