Briefing Note (BN98)

Education policy

Date: 26 April 2010
Authors:
Publisher: Institute for Fiscal Studies
DOI: 10.1920/bn.ifs.2010.0098

In his speech to the Labour Party conference in October 1996, Tony Blair famously stated that his three main priorities for government would be 'education, education, education'. A commitment to increasing education spending as a share of national income over the course of the parliament was then included in the Labour Party's general election manifestos in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

In this general election briefing note we examine trends in education spending under Labour as well as plans going forwards. We then discuss policy and key trends under Labour to date and policy proposals from the three main UK political parties in each of the following areas of education policy: early years; schools; and higher education. For the most part we focus on education policy in England only, though we do discuss trends in UK education spending in Section 2.