Funding increases and removing public sector salary caps could help region’s schools – election candidates have their say on education

Election candidates for the Honiton and Tiverton seat have their say on education. Picture: Canva/Ge

Election candidates for the Honiton and Tiverton seat have their say on education. Picture: Canva/Getty Images - Credit: Canva/Getty Images

Increased funding, removing public sector salary caps and making academies accountable to local authorities are some of the suggestions made to help struggling schools.

The ideas for the future of education in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency were put forward by candidates hoping to be elected as MP.

Registered voters go to the polls on Thursday, December 12, to decide who will represent them in the House of Commons.

We asked the candidates: "Schools are losing resources and under threat of further staff shortages - what would you do to help East Devon schools?"

Margaret Dennis, the candidate standing for UKIP, said making academies independent of local authorities meant 'greedy bosses' used budgets to 'fill their own pockets'.

She said: "Until teachers allow the natural curiosity of children to question and research the current indoctrination and suppression of alternative views our young people are being short changed."

Conservative Party candidate Neil Parish, who was the MP prior to this election, said he met all primary and secondary school heads this year.

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He said: "Starter salaries will rise by £6,000, boosting morale and retention.

"All pupils are getting more investment, with small rural schools seeing the most.

"I will also secure new buildings, like for Tiverton High."

Elizabeth Pole, the Labour Party candidate, said her party will 'fairly fund' Devon schools and reverse cuts.

She said: "We will remove the public sector pay cap to attract more teachers, reduce testing and introduce free school meals in primary schools, reinstating Sure Start and prioritising special education provision."

The Green Party candidate, Colin Reed, said future proofing the utility industry would provide many unique opportunities.

He said: "One I would champion is huge reduction and eventual elimination of electricity bills in schools, NHS, emergency services and homes.

"The massive benefits to schools and all age groups are obvious and realistically achievable."

Liberal Democrat candidate John Timperley said there will be an emergency cash injection of £2.5 billion in the first year to bring funding back to 2015 levels.

He said: "Teachers will be recognised as highly skilled professionals.

"The most disadvantaged and special education needs pupils will be supported."