Summary of the Liberal Democrats Manifesto

With the General Election moving closer each day, this week will see most political parties releasing their manifestos, putting forward their vision of what they aspire to deliver if they form the next government

We’ll be bringing you an overview of each party’s manifesto as they are launched, starting today with the Liberal Democrats.



The Lib Dem’s manifesto includes a proposal to expand provision of extracurricular activities including sport, alongside other topics such as music and drama, including a new, free entitlement for disadvantaged children. A teacher workforce strategy would aim to ensure every secondary school child is taught by a specialist teacher in their subject. The party also plans to create a standing commission to build a long-term consensus across parties and teachers to broaden the curriculum, aiming to deliver core skills including critical thinking, verbal reasoning and creativity.

The party wants to put a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every primary and secondary school and implement a new parental engagement strategy to ensure schools provide accessible information to parents on what their children are learning. In addition, the Lib Dems call for the end of single-word Ofsted judgments and the reform of inspections to give parents a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses of every school. To improve special educational needs provision, the party plans to give local authorities extra funding to reduce the amount schools pay towards the cost of Education, Health and Care Plans, and to establish a new National Body for SEND to fund support for children with very high needs.


Children, Young People and Wellbeing

In response to the crisis in children and young people’s wellbeing, the Liberal Democrats want to improve early access to mental health services by establishing mental health hubs for young people in every community, linked to a broader proposal to introduce regular mental health check-ups at key points in people’s lives and aligned to greater support within schools. They also want to address the underfunding of children’s mental health services.

Other proposals to improve children’s health include halting the use of vapes by children and banning the use of single-use vapes, as well as supporting local authorities to restrict outdoor advertising and TV advertising to reduce exposure to junk food. The soft drinks levy would be extended to juice-based and milk-based drinks that are high in sugar, and concerns about online safety for children would be explored through a new independent advocacy body. The party also wants to provide supervised toothbrushing training for children in nurseries and schools, and to scrap VAT on children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste.

With many parents concerned about youth violence, the Lib Dems call for a public health approach which would bring together police, teachers, health professionals, youth workers and social services to prevent young people falling prey to gangs and violence. Linked to this would be investment in engaging youth services with an aspiration to reach more young people.


Sport and Society

Moving to the UK population more widely, the party plans to boost participation in sport and physical activity through investment in leisure centres, swimming pools and other grassroots facilities, as well as by supporting community sports clubs. Funding distributed to sports and arts through the National Lottery would be protected, and the Lib Dems would encourage campaigns aiming to improve equality, diversity and inclusion within sport.

The Lib Dems also aspire to increase the amount of accessible green space including by completing the coastal path, exploring a ‘right to roam’ for waterways and by creating a new designation of ‘National Nature Parks.’ A new nationwide active travel strategy would be used to create new cycling and walking networks to transform how people travel.


Government and constitution

Finally, the Lib Dems propose the introduction of a new Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People, elevating the position from the junior ministerial level at which children have been represented in recent years. Alongside this, the party wants to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into UK law, and plans to create a ‘Health Creation Unit’ based in the Cabinet Office, tasked with leading working across government to improve the nation’s health and tackle health inequalities.

Published on 10 June 2024