One of the most intriguing issues to arise from the 2017 Labour manifesto was the idea of a National Education Service. To many it was an exciting idea but needed working through in a good deal more detail.
The latest issue of the SEA Journal, Education Politics, takes on that issue. In particular it looks at what it should mean for further, higher and adult education and for youth work. It starts from the premise that as a country we have sadly neglected technical and vocational education and in the post Brexit world we will urgently need to do better. This issue of EP can be found here: Education Politics September 2017
The NES will also be the theme of this year’s Reclaiming Education conference to be held at the NUT (NEU!) building – Hamilton House – in London on 11th November. The event is promoted by the SEA in partnership with other campaigning groups including CASE, Comprehensive Future and the Alliance for Inclusive Education.
The keynote speaker will be Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU but a substantial amount of time will be given to allow delegates to make their contribution to defining what Labour’s NES should look like.
More details of the conference can be found at http://www.reclaimingeducation.org.uk/Reclaiming%20Education%20flyer%201%20(booking).pdf
Book your place at http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/403357
The next SEA meetings will be at Leeds Church Institute, 20 New Market Street, Leeds, LS1 6DG (note the entrance is in Central Road) on Saturday 16th September.All SEA members are welcome.
As usual the schedule will be
Finance and General Purposes at 11.0
National Executive at 12.15
Lunch break at 1.30
Members meeting at 2.00 to 4.00 pm
A significant item on the NEC agenda will be how we can work with our growing membership to develop local branches and relate better to local constituency parties.
The main theme in the all members meeting will be the curriculum and its assessment. We’ll be looking to critique the Tory National Curriculum and the new SATs, GCSEs and A level exams. However it will be really useful if members with direct experience of the new curriculum and exams can share their views and their students’ experiences.
Sat 16th September Leeds
Sat 18th November London
Sat 13th January Birmingham
Sat 10th March Manchester
Sat 12th May Cardiff
All members are welcome to any part of these meetings. We deal with association business in the morning (from 11.00 am) and schedule policy debate and speakers from 2.00 to 4.00.
Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture
Tue 7th November House of Commons, London
This year’s lecture will be delivered by Rebecca Allen, Director of Education Datalab. You can read more about Rebecca and her work at:
https://educationdatalab.org.uk/author/beckyallen/ and at
Book your place for the lecture by email to email@example.com
Reclaiming Education Annual Conference
This year’s conference will be on Sat 11th November at the NUT building in London. The theme of the conference will be “A national Education Service – what should it mean?” More details are at Reclaiming Education Conference 2017 – What should a National Education Service be like?
SEA Annual Conference
This will be held on Saturday 23rd June in London. It will be followed on Sun 24th by the first meeting of the 2018-19 SEA Executive.
The Socialist Educational Association is delighted to announce that Professor Selina Todd has accepted nomination as our new President. She replaces the distinguished educationalist and former Director of the Oxford Department of Education, Professor Richard Pring. Richard has been a major figure in the association during his term as president and we are all very grateful to him for his contribution.
Professor Todd is Professor of Modern History at Oxford. Her specialisms are the study of class, inequality, working-class history, feminism and women’s lives. Her most recent major work was the acclaimed bestseller “The People: the Rise and Fall of the Working Class 1910 to 2010″. In 2014 she delivered the SEA’s Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture on “The Golden Age of the grammar School: Exploding the Myth”. The lecture can be read at https://socedassoc.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/cbml_2014.pdf.
We also welcome Ian Mearns MP as a new Vice President of SEA. Ian has been MP for Gateshead since 2010 and is a member of the Education Select Committee. He replaces Ken Purchase, formerly MP for Wolverhampton North East – someone who we still miss in the SEA. Ian has been a regular member of the SEA Parliamentary branch and we look forward to his continuing contribution to our work.
The latest issue of the SEA journal “Education Politics” has been published and can be accessed here https://socialisteducationalassociation.org/publications/. It contains some post election thoughts from the editor Martin Johnson, the General Secretary John Bolt and ATL’s Mary Bousted.
The main theme however is the curriculum – an issue that got very little attention in the Labour manifesto. The writers in this issue remind us, in different ways, that the narrow and out dated vision of the curriculum imposed in the last seven years needs to be challenged.Just as the Tories hark back to the ’50’s by seeking to restore selective schooling, so their approach to the business of learning is firmly rooted in the past.It’s time Labour owned the future by developing an approach to learning that meets the needs of our fast changing world.
SEA’s Annual Conference will be an important opportunity to consider the implications of the General Election for education and the issues that are likely to be facing us in the next Parliament.
I can now confirm the speakers and the themes we’ll be addressing. They will be:
- The political and parliamentary outlook after the election – John Cryer MP Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
- Child development in the early years and its implications for policy – Pam Jarvis from Leeds Metropolitan University
- School funding cuts and the campaign to resist them – Matt Dykes,
- Resisting the return of grammar schools and secondary moderns – Councillor Michael Pavey, Political and Parliamentary Officer, Comprehensive Future.
- Post election prospects for post 16 education – Eddie Playfair, Principal NewVic Sixth Form College and former Vice Chair of SEA.
The conference will be held in 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.
The cost to attend the conference is £25 waged and £15 unwaged. This includes lunch.
Please book your place by e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . Payment can be made on the day.
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, 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.
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.