Tough questions for manifesto promises
26 Apr 2010
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has produced an invaluable analysis of the main parties' education promises.
They reveal some serious gaps in the information given to back up key manifesto pledges.
For example on the "pupil premium", which is now the policy of all three main parties, the IFS says:
- Labour: the plans amount to little more than "re-badging" of the existing funding formula.
- Conservatives: their pupil premium plan is "much less clearly defined" than the others and lacks the detail to judge whether this would be additional money or just a shift of the balance of funding.
- Liberal Democrats: this is genuinely new money but it would not affect the existing disparities in funding between different local authorities.
Overall the IFS study shows that Labour has genuinely invested more in education even though many of its targets for outcomes have been missed..
However, the IFS is most critical of the lack of detail in the Conservative plans for funding their new Swedish-style free schools. They comment:
For more see: www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn98.pdf