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Wood's what if? Will education policy steer voters?

The ITV Leaders' Debate proved that education is a key factor in the coming election. Credit: ITV News
  • FRIDAY 19 MAY - 20 DAYS UNTIL GENERAL ELECTION

Three weeks today we will know who our Prime Minister is and by now they'll have probably walked into Downing Street and started confirming their cabinet.

As last night's leaders' debate on ITV proved, one of the major issues up for discussion this election is education. Now we have almost all of the manifestos, what if education policy helps voters make up their minds?

Tonight on ITV News West Country our Education Correspondent Richard Payne has been talking to head teachers and parents about school funding. The Government says it is investing record amounts of cash in our schools.

The problem though for whoever is in Government on 9 June is that there are more children going through our schools so spending per pupil is going down.

Credit: PA

The Conservatives said yesterday they they will invest £4bn in schools but whilst spending that cash on schools they will stop free school meals for all infants. Labour says it'll reverse funding cuts so schools don't need to limit their offering and will add £6.3bn to the schools budget. As for the Lib Dems would add £7bn to the school budget to and UKIP will outline its manifesto spending plans next week.

​Of course at this stage these are broad spending commitments in terms of cash but they all have ideas about what that money will be spent on. For example Labour is​ planning on extending the free meals available to school children and along with the Lib Dems are opposing new grammar school (something the Tories and UKIP want more of).

Do the party's sums add up? Credit: PA

Theresa May keeps saying this election is about Brexit and leadership but the other parties hope by distracting the agenda onto education will help boost their chances.

The Conservatives are planning on introducing a fair funding formula so all schools get the same slice of cash as others across the country. At the moment some areas get more cash than others but the problem with the Tory plan is, unless theres extra cash in the budget, some schools will lose out as the cake is carved up more fairly.

  • HAPPENING TODAY

Campaigning is continuing, although none of the main party leaders are in the West Country today.

The fall out from last night's ITV Leaders' Debate also continues especially about the no shows from Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. This morning in a video message the Labour Leader has challenged Mrs May to a one on one TV Debate.

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