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It's got to be about their future

April 18, 2010 9:00 AM
Floella Benjamin OBE and David Goodall

Floella Benjamin OBE and David Goodall at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference

Actress, author, businesswoman, Chancellor of Exeter University and TV Presenter Floella Benjamin OBE writes for you...

My beautiful mother told all six of her children each day before we went to school that education was our passport to life.

We were to go to school and learn everything the teachers told us. I did just that and loved my time at school because my mum set us that goal!

To this day, I've always believed in the power of education. A chance for every child to have the best opportunity in life.

No matter who you are, how rich or poor, education gives you the chance to succeed.

Like many people, I was in despair at the priority given to education during the last Conservative Government.

Our schools were allowed to crumble and were starved of the investment they needed.

Then came Tony Blair and "education, education, education". At last I hoped things would really change.

But here we are, twelve years on, and still the poorest children have little chance of success. Too many children can't reach their potential in overcrowded classrooms and we are still not getting the best teachers teaching the more disadvantaged children. Tuition fees, introduced by the Government, are stopping many from attending university.

The disappointment is crushing. Our children let down again. It's got to change.

The smartest investment we can make is an investment in our future - our children.

And the Liberal Democrats really seem to get that.

I'm proud to be part of a party that really looks to the future rather than the past. A party that understands just how important our children really are.

The Lib Dems want to give every child a chance. Their plans start at an early age.

Primary schools will be given extra cash to cut class sizes for those all important early years.

If private schools believe that a class size of 15 is right for kids, why shouldn't state schools aim for the same?

Secondary schools will be given extra funds to recruit more high quality teachers and to improve school discipline.

And finally, the Lib Dems will work towards finding a way to reduce or even abolish those unfair tuition fees. The quality of education children receive should not be dependant on their parents' bank balance.

Now that's a joined up, fresh and different approach to our children's future.

That's why I am supporting the Liberal Democrats at this General Election.