The Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg MP, has been the first speaker in a series of Social Justice Lectures hosted by The Salvation Army.
Clegg chose an emphasis on education as his theme, before an invited audience of Salvation Army leaders, staff and service users, as well as leaders and policy specialists from the charity and community sectors.
In his speech on 1 March 2010, he emphasised the importance of early years education in the home and pledged £2.5 billion to help cut school class sizes.
"But a good education doesn't end at the school gate. Governments can only make a difference if parents do their bit too," he added.
The event, at The Salvation Army's UK and Ireland Territorial Headquarters in London, has been announced as the first in a series of Social Justice Lectures with "senior politicians from across the political spectrum" hosted by the church and charity organisation.
Marion Drew, Secretary for Communications for The Salvation Army, explalined: "This is an unprecendented opportunity to hear from one of our nation's major political leaders as we approach the run-up to a general election. As a charity, The Salvation Army is politically neutral so we are offering each of the major political parties an opportunity to share their vision for social justice. We hope as many people as possible from the third sector attend this event."
It is unclear whether smaller parties, such as the Greens, and the SNP and Plaid Cymru, who exercise governance or major influence outside England, are part of the platform - alongside 'the big three', Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat.