GE2019: Liberal Democrat manifesto breakdown

We pull out the key policies from the Liberal Democrat’s manifesto, examining what they have to say on education, culture, young people and Brexit.

We have pulled out all the policies on Brexit, education, culture and young people, and detailed them below, along with the page numbers so you can check them for yourself and read additional context.

These are just a few of many policies that the Lib Dems are putting forward, and we encourage you to read the full manifesto to get a complete picture of what they are offering. You should also read the manifestos of the other parties.

If you haven’t already, please register to vote. The deadline to do so is 11:59pm on 26 November (17:00 if you’re registering for a postal vote). If you are looking for an explainer on the process of voting, we have a detailed guide here.

This article is purely informative, and simply breaks down what the manifesto says. 

There will be no opinion provided.

Liberal Democrats manifesto: Stop Brexit: Build a brighter future


  • ‘Stop Brexit’ by revoking Article 50 (p.11)
  • In other circumstances [ie. they don’t win a majority] the LibDems will continue to push for a people’s vote with an option to remain, which they will campaign for (p.11)
  • Safeguard the rights of UK citizens in the EU and UK, and support Gibraltar in remaining in the EU (p.12)
  • Extend rights to EU citizens who have lived here for five or more years, including voting and standing in elections, and ensure that councils inform EU citizens of steps required to do so (pp.12-13)
  • By staying in the EU, the UK will benefit from a ‘Remain Bonus’, that will help fund public services (p.7)


Early years

  • Free childcare for every child aged two to four and children aged between nine and 24 months where parents or guardians are in work 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year (p.32)
  • Triple the Early Years Pupils Premium to give extra help to disadvantaged children who are at risk of falling behind from the start of the education (p.32)
  • Require all Early Years settings to have a training programme for staff, with the majority holding a relevant Early Years qualification or working towards one, and long term each setting should have at least one person qualified to graduate level (p.32)


  • Reverse cuts to school funding, employing an extra 20,000 teachers and reduce class sizes (pp.32-33)
  • Clear the backlog of repairs to school and college buildings (p.33)
  • Additional funding to local authorities to halve the amount that schools pay towards the cost of a child’s Education Health and Care Plan (p.33)
  • A new ‘curriculum for life’ that included PSHE, financial literacy, environmental awareness, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, and relationship and sex education that includes LGBT+ relationships (p.33) and responsible social media usage (p.36)
  • Establish a body of education experts who will oversee any curriculum changes, taking the decision out of politicians hands (p.33)
  • Scrap mandatory SATs and replace with a formal teacher assessment at the end of each phase (p.33)
  • Replace league tables with broader indicators such as pupil and teacher wellbeing and academic attainment (p.33)
  • Replace OFSTED with an HM Inspector of Schools, with inspections taking place every three years, which will consider factors such as social and emotional development, and staff and pupil wellbeing. Independent schools will face the same scrutiny (p.33)
  • Improve vocational education and careers advice through strengthened links with employers in schools and colleges (p.33)
  • Abolish the English Baccalaureate as a performance measure, and allow students to study the arts and creative subjects (p.33)
  • Teach core skills required for children to flourish in the modern world eg. creativity, critical thinking and verbal reasoning (p.33)
  • Local authorities with responsibility for education the power and resources to act as Strategic Education Authorities for their area, including power for places planning, exclusions, admissions and SEND functions (p.34)
  • Multi-Academy Trusts are to undergo external inspections, and local authorities can open new Community Schools where needed (p.34)
  • No future expansion of grammar schools, and capital funding for new school spaces will be devolved to local authorities (p.34)
  • Raise the starting salary for teachers to £30,000 and increase all teachers pay by at least 3% a year throughout the Parliament (p.35)
  • Introduce clear and properly funded professional development for all teachers, including extra training to those who are required to teach a subject at secondary level where they themselves do not have a post A-level qualification (p.35)
  • Free school meals to all children in primary education, and secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, and promote breakfast clubs (p.35)
  • Ensure teachers are trained to identify mental health issues, and that there is immediate access for pupil support and counselling (p.35)
  • Additionally, there will be a specific individual responsible for mental health in schools who provide links to mental health experts, and take a lead on developing whole-school approaches to mental well-being (pp.35-36)
  • Schools will have a statutory duty to promote wellbeing as part of the inspection framework, and tackle bullying (p.36)
  • School uniform policies to be gender neutral and flexible enough to suit budgets, and training for staff to better review and improve uniform policies (p.36)
  • Challenge gender stereotypes and and early sexualisation (p.36)
  • Establish a national fund for projects that work in schools to raise the aspirations of ethnic minority children and young people (p.76)

Further education

  • Invest an extra £1bn in Further Education funding, including refunding the VAT they pay (p.36)
  • Introduce a ‘Young People’s Premium’ that will help children from poorer families stay in education beyond 16. It will be based on the criteria as the Pupil Premium, but some of that gets paid directly to the young person aged 16-18 (p.36)
  • Strengthen the Office for Students to raise standards in universities (p.36)
  • Require universities to make mental health services accessible to students, and introduce a Student Mental Health Charter through legislation (p.37)
  • Reinstate maintenance grants for the poorest students (p.37)
  • Evaluate the existing higher education finance model to see what the impact has been to access, participation and quality (p.37)
  • Ensure universities are working to widen participation of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups across the sector (p.37)


  • Maintain free access to national museums and galleries (p.37)
  • Move towards introducing ‘safe standing’ at football clubs, requiring the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to prepare guidance for implementing this change (p.37)
  • Support anti-racism and anti-homophobia campaigns in sport (p.37)
  • Protect the independence of the BBC and set up a BBC Licence Fee Commission, maintain Channel 4 in public ownership and protect the funding and editorial independence of Welsh language broadcasters (p.37)
  • Protect sports and arts funding via the National Lottery (p.37)
  • Examine the available funding and planning rules for live music venues and the grassroots music sector, protecting venues from further closures (p.37)
  • Ratify the Istanbul Convention to prevent violence against women and girls (p.70)

Young people

  • Help people who cannot afford a deposit by introducing a new Rent to Own model for social housing where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years (p.66)
  • Help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30 (p.67)
  • Get police, teachers, health professionals, youth workers and social services all working closely together to prevent young people falling prey to gangs and violence, and treat youth violence as a public health issue (p.69)
  • Ringfence £500m of investment for local authorities to fix or develop youth services (p.69)
  • 16 and 17 year-olds will be able to vote in elections and referendums (p.79)
  • Ensure that all children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition receive treatment (p.54) and provide uninterrupted care when they transition to adult services (p.55)
  • Free leisure centre access, free bus travel for young carers, and self-referral to socially prescribed activities and courses (p.59)

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