Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “We’ve been delighted to welcome representatives from all three major political parties to our conference this weekend. Their desire to attend reflects the importance of NAHT and what we have to say.
“This speech recognises many of the challenges in education that we have identified: funding, recruitment, retention, accountability, equalities, workload and well-being.
“We agree that a focus on the early years is important - it is the foundation of a successful life-long journey in education. Investment is vital, as is support for families with young children The people who work in early years settings deserve more respect for the work that they do. The breadth of the curriculum at all ages is obviously extremely important. Of course, it is essential that the breadth of curriculum includes teaching about equality, diversity and inclusion.
“We welcome the comments that schools should be exempt from the apprenticeship levy. Many schools have to pay in, but only a tiny number are in a position to take advantage of it.
“All of our political speakers have spoken about the crucial role school leaders play, and the importance of a world class education system. Education is not a cost, it is an investment. Education has a value all of its own. We will continue our campaign for immediate funding to relieve the current crisis and then guarantee a long-term plan for funding for the next ten years.”
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