Delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton have passed an emergency motion calling on the government to provide funding for all teachers to receive a 3.5 per cent pay rise. Earlier this year the School Teacher’s Review Body (STRB) had recommended such an award for all teachers, however the Department for Education (DfE) decided to only implement the 3.5 per cent rise for teachers on the main and unqualified pay scales. The Lib Dem motion calls on the government to ‘allocate new money to fund the recommendations of the STRB in full, using additional funding from the Treasury, rather than from already overstretched school budgets’. Commenting on the motion, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said ‘We welcome the support from the Liberal Democrats for our…campaign to fully fund and fully implement the STRB's recommendations. We will be seeking support for our campaign from other political parties throughout the party conference season.’

Elsewhere at the conference the party’s spokesperson for education, Layla Moran, attacked grammar schools as a ‘waste of money’, calling them ‘state sponsored segregation’. She argued that not only was selection doing nothing to help social mobility, it was in fact ‘stifling’ it. Addressing delegates she said ‘How, when we know families spend thousands of pounds on private tutoring to pass the 11+, can the Government claim that they are accessible to all?’, adding ‘So what I would like to see us do as a party, hand in hand with the communities that this affects, is take on the harmful, antiquated tradition of the 11+ exams and indeed all barriers to entry in the state system.’.

Greensheets will have news from other party political conferences in the coming weeks.

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