Lib Dems pledge 20,000 more teachers

The Liberal Democrats have promised to recruit 20,000 more teachers in England and spend an extra £10 billion on schools each year if they are elected to government.

The party, excluded from the first ITV political party TV debate, is launching its manifesto with plans to reverse school cuts with an 'emergency cash injection' of £4.6 billion next year. The party say that they will spend £10.6 billion more on schools in 2024/25 than in 2019/20. It is expected that the money will boost teacher numbers by 20,000 over five years.

The anti-Brexit party says the financing will be taken from the £50 billion 'Remain bonus' from staying in the EU to increase school funding.

To attract and retain teachers, the Liberal Democrats say they will also increase starting salaries to £30,000 and they will guarantee a pay rise of at least three per cent a year over five years, as well as spend of £7 billion on improving school buildings over the next five years.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said: "This is an investment in our children's future. Our schools should be world class, helping every child make the most of the challenges ahead. But instead, they are trailing behind. The Conservatives have cut school funding to the bone and children have paid the price, especially those with the most complex needs.

"It is disgraceful that some schools feel they have no choice but to ask parents to chip in for supplies, and are closing early on Friday to balance the books."

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