General election 2017: science and education policy

By Gabriele Butkute, Science Policy Officer, Biochemical Society

While there rarely is a calm time in science policy, the last year has been particularly busy with the EU membership referendum, several consultations and bills, such as the HE & Research Bill, and now the General Election.

There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the different Parties’ commitments, priorities and actions, which can make it tricky to keep up and make an informed choice on Election Day. Below are some resources and summaries, which we hope you’ll find useful.

The Royal Society of Biology has put together a briefing document, which summarises the science and education policy pledges from the following Party manifestos: Conservatives (including Scottish and Welsh conservatives), Green Party (England and Wales), Labour (including Scottish and Welsh Labour), Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Scottish National Party, Sinn Fein and the UK Independence Party.

The briefing provides useful information on key issues such as funding for research and development, schools and FE Colleges, the teaching workforce, technical education, apprenticeships and Higher Education, among others. We understand that any other related manifestos will be uploaded to the document as they become available.

Also, in the lead up to the election, the Royal Society of Biology and the Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) have written to MPs and Party leaders to highlight the importance of science and engineering:

  • Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Biology, has sent a letter on behalf of their Member Organisations and the whole bioscience community to all MPs who are planning to stand for re-election.
  • CaSE have written to the leaders of all the political parties, inviting them to set out their party’s policies on science and engineering. CaSE have received a number of responses from Party leaders, which are available on their website.

We’re encouraging our members cast their vote on 8th June. Please note the polling stations will be open from 07:00 to 22:00, you can find the information on where to vote on your poll card or online.

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