Most people agree with what makes a good school - great teachers, strong leadership from the head and well-equipped classrooms.
But the political parties are bitterly divided over how to achieve it. The Conservatives believe more academies and Free Schools - outside local council control - is the way to deliver better results.
Their critics say it’s more about money and class sizes.
BBC North East and Cumbria Sunday Politics reporter Luke Walton visited Hartlepool to find out the details, including speaking to Dyke House Sports and Technology College headteacher Andrew Jordon.