SEA AGM and Annual Conference

The Socialist Educational Association AGM and Annual Conference will be held at Room B04, Birkbeck College, Malet Street London, WC1E 7HY on Saturday 24th June 2017. The AGM will begin at 10.00 and the Conference will start at  11.00 am.

All members and supporters of SEA are welcome at the conference. Book your place now.

Coming as it does just a couple of weeks after the General Election, we will inevitably be focussing on the election outcomes and what the implications are for education over the next five years.

A number of SEA members have been invited to offer their views on the way forward. They will include

  • John Cryer MP, Chair of the Parliamentary Party and of the SEA Parliamentary group.
  • Pam Jarvis a chartered psychologist and historian at Leeds Trinity University and writer for the Huffington Post. Her key research focus is the well-being of children, young people and their families, and the development of social policy to support this.
  • Eddie Playfair, Principal of NewVic Sixth Form College and former Vice Chair of SEA.

Members are invited to submit resolutions for the conference. In order to allow them to take account of the election outcome, the deadline for receipt of resolutions will be Friday 16th June.

 The cost to attend the conference is £25 waged and £15 unwaged. This includes lunch.

Congratulations to SEA Deputy General Secretary Emma Hardy selected as Labour candidate for Hull West and Hessle

The SEA is delighted that Emma Hardy– a Hessle town councillor and ex-primary school teacher – has been selected as the Labour candidate to replace Alan Johnson as the MP for Hull West and Hessle.     Emma Hardy

Emma, who is also Deputy General Secretary of the SEA, has been an active campaigner on educational matters for many years. We look forward to supporting her during the campaign and to seeing her returned to Parliament on June 8th 2017.

Ideas for an Education Manifesto

The General Election is upon us and the Labour Party is calling for all stakeholders to contribute to the manifesto process. Here are some ideas from the SEA:

Education Policies for the Labour Manifesto 2017 from the Socialist Educational Association

Labour should commit to:

  • Maintaining a national schools funding formula but raising funding levels overall so all schools can meet the extra costs facing them.
  • Raising the pay of school staff so it is again comparable with other graduate professions and properly addressing teachers’ excessive workload.
  • Restoring the ethos of “every child matters” and ensuring that the provision is there to support it.
  • In particular, restoring the sure start network to support families and children in the early years.
  • Engaging schools, universities, employers, trade unions and parents in a long term review of what is taught in schools so that young people can gain the knowledge, skills, creativity and personal qualities needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world.
  • As part of an overall restructure of local and regional government, devolving responsibility for planning the provision of school places and monitoring school performance and financial management to local elected bodies.
  • Maintaining the ban on any new academic selection and committing over time to phasing out selective systems where they still exist.
  • Reforming the admissions system so as to ensure that the intakes of all comprehensive schools are properly representative of their local community.
  • Radically reducing the pressure on both children and teachers caused by too much testing and by punitive inspection systems.
  • Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to develop new skills throughout life and can meet the challenges of rapid economic and social change.
  • Providing long term support to schools in areas where achievement is low as part of a comprehensive regeneration programme.
  • Respecting research and evidence and listening to both professionals and families before launching new policies.

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SEA at the NUT Conference Cardiff 17th April

Towards a new education policy for Labour

Fringe meeting at NUT Conference

Date: Monday 17th April.

Time: 5.45 pm

Venue: Fringe 2 (Level 5) St David’s Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH

The SEA wants Labour to adopt more ambitious educational policies.

We want to develop policies that build on the day to day experience of people working in schools.

This meeting will be an opportunity for NUT members to tell us how they would answer the key questions that schools will face in the coming years.

John Bolt, General Secretary of SEA, will outline our thinking so far and Ian Murch, NUT Treasurer, will respond. But most of the meeting will be for delegates to make their contributions to the debate.

If you’re in Cardiff for the conference, please come along to the meeting. If you know people who will be, please forward the details to them.

Find out more about the SEA manifesto at https://socialisteducationalassociation.org/sea-manifesto-2017/

Education Politics March 2017

The latest issue of the SEA journal, Education Politics has been published and can be accessed at https://socialisteducationalassociation.org/publications/

The main focus of the issue is testing and assessment with articles ranging from early years through to post 16. There is also an article by Mike Kane MP, shadow schools minister, covering a wide range of issues. The current schoools funding crisis is analysed in detail by Martin Johnson

There is also a report on the work of the Labour Party’s education policy commission by Emma Hardy and on the SEA’s own manifesto process by John Bolt.

As ever, any feedback or comments from members and supporters would be most welcome.

Labour and Faith Schools

The issues around faith schools have been of concern to SEA for a long time. It’s therefore very relevant that Labour Humanists is hosting a discussion, led by Fiona Millar, on Labour & Faith Schools, on Saturday 1st April. All SEA members are invited.

It’ll start at 3pm upstairs at Morpeth Arms, 58 Millbank, London SW1P 4RW (http://www.morpetharms.com).

The event is free!

If you have any queries, please get in touch with Lee Stacy, Secretary, Labour Humanists, 07971 265835/ 020 8802 4946

SEA in Liverpool 4th March

The next SEA meeting will be in Jack Jones House (the Unite offices), Churchill Way, Liverpool on Saturday 4th March.

The focus for the members meeting, beginning at 1.30 pm, will be on the next elements of the SEA manifesto. We will be looking at special educational needs and disabilities and at  inequality in education in all its aspects. Background material will be posted on the website in advance of the meeting.

All SEA members are invited to join the meeting. If you can’t be there but would like to have your say on these issues, do send your ideas to socialisteducation@virginmedia.com.

SEA Members’ Meeting pm 7th Jan in Birmingham

The next SEA members meeting is at The Priory Rooms Meeting & Conference Centre, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF on Saturday 7th January from 2.00 to 4.00 pm.

At this meeting we will be starting our series of policy debates looking at

  1. How we ensure there are enough good teachers – covering recruitment, training, CPD and retention
  1. How we can develop a better system of monitoring and supporting schools which is not punitive and genuinely promotes improvement.

Background papers can be found at https://socialisteducationalassociation.org/sea-manifesto-2017/

All SEA members are welcome.