Tories defy evidence with grammar schools plan

The Sunday Telegraph recently reported that PM Theresa May was planning to scrap the ban on new grammar schools in a bid to boost “social mobility”. Opposition has been widespread but it seems that the myths about the efficacy of grammar schools being engines of social mobility still persist despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Professor Selina Todd’s 2014 Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture provides a coruscating analysis of the case for grammar schools and dispatches the arguments still deployed by anecdotalists in favour of their retention and/or expansion. Continue reading

Socialist Societies statement on racist and xenophobic behaviour

SEA is very happy to support unreservedly this statement.

“The Society of Labour Lawyers condemns the racist and xenophobic attacks which have been reported to have taken place across the United Kingdom. Racially motivated violence has no place in our society. Incitement of racial hatred and racially aggravated assault are criminal offences. We call on our members to stand united and undeterred against such xenophobia and racism and we call on the government to condemn these attacks”.

The Labour Party and the Labour movement has a long history of fighting racism and bigotry and we will continue to fight any prejudice and campaign for a fair, equal and just society and we ask that all socialist societies would support this statement”


Labour Leadership

AFTER HAVING HEARD OF SHADOW CABINET RESIGNATIONS AND OF some mps calling for the Party leader Jeremy corbyn to step down so that a leadership election can take place The National Executive Committee of the socialist educationAL association, at its meeting on Sunday 26th June, agreed that now is not the time for a Labour Party leadership election.


Education Politics June 2016

The latest issue of the SEA journal, Education Politics, is now available on this website. It’s under Resources/ Publications.

This issue is focused mainly on the White Paper with articles about both academisation and the place of parents and about the implications for the teaching profession. Taken together they provide a broad and incisive critique of the deeply inadequate document.

There is also a review of the recent publication “The Truth about our Schools” by Melissa Benn and Janet Downs and a report of the SEA fringe meetings at the teacher union conferences.

SEA AGM and Annual Conference 25th June 2016

The SEA AGM and Annual Conference will be held at Student Central (formerly the University of London Union, Malet Street London, WC1E 7HY on Saturday 25th June 2016. The AGM will begin at 10.00 and the Conference will run from 11.00 am to 5 pm.

The conference will focus on three themes:

Issues arising from The Education White Paper which include mass academisation and the undermining of parental involvement in schools, threats to the professionalism and the working conditions of school staff and the growth of inequality in education.

Higher Education which, with rather less publicity, is also threatened by the government’s dogmatic adherence to marketization.

How SEA can develop alternatives – at the early stage in the parliamentary cycle, SEA needs to identify key areas where new thinking is needed and how we can influence the national policy making process

 As speakers to the conference we will be welcoming:

  • Mary Bousted, General Secretary of ATL
  • John Holmwood, Campaign for the Public University and Professor of Sociology at University of Nottingham
  • Liz Lawrence, President of UCU
  • Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney
  • Sorana Vieru NUS Vice-President (Higher Education)
  • Catherine West MP (Hornsey and Wood Green)

The conference will also consider resolutions submitted by SEA members.

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

You can book a place by e mail to . Payment can be made on the day.

In order to confirm arrangements including catering it is important we know who is coming and that members book in good time.

Members are welcome to invite guests to the conference although they will, of course, be non-voting delegates.

A Poison Pill – resisting the education white paper 25th May

Speakers are now confirmed for the Reclaiming Education meeting on the Education White Paper.

They are:

  • Christine Blower, General secretary of the NUT
  • Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council and LGA lead on education
  • Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council.

The government still says it is committed to announcing legislation to implement the White Paper in the Queen’s Speech on May 18th. this is despite the massive opposition that it has proviked.

The meeting will aim to identify the issues raised by the White Paper – and it’s not just about academies – share ideas on how to resist it and just as importantly consider what the alternatives should be.

WHEN: Wednesday 25th May, 6.00pm
WHERE: Committee Room 10, House of Commons, Westminster,
London SW1A 0AA

This is a free meeting but please book by e mailing your details to

SEA meets in Cardiff May 14th

The next SEA meeting will be in Cardiff on Saturday 14th May. The Finance Committee will meet at 11.00 and the Executive at 12.15. The all members meeting will be from 2.00 to 4.00 pm. The meeting will be in the upstairs committee room in the Yard Pub, in the Brewery Quarter, Off St Mary’s Street, Cardiff CF10 1AD

The speakers in the afternoon will be:

  • Darren Williams from the PCS union, the secretary of Welsh Labour Grassroots and a former member of the National Policy Forum,
  • Professor David Egan, Professor at Trinity Saint David’s University of Wales, Director of the Wales Centre for Equity in Education and Editor of The Wales Journal of Education  – on Children’s rights and the effect of poverty on educational achievement and well-being.

All members of the SEA are very welcome.

The Education White Paper A Poison Pill

WHEN: Wednesday 25th May, 6.00pm

WHERE: Committee Room 10, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

The Government’s Education White Paper has united opposition as rarely before, with uproar among parents, teachers and local authorities across the political spectrum.

The plan to force all schools to join academy “chains” and to abolish parent governors has been widely condemned, with good reason.

The government claims it is devolving power “to the front line” but schools taken over by academy chains cease to control their buildings, budget, staffing and curriculum. Schools will have no governing body of their own, so parents and local communities will have no say in how their schools are run. The chains can employ teaching staff with no training or qualifications.

What benefit will there be? Not for children or families – many chains already perform significantly worse than local authorities.

These changes are a poison pill which intended to change our schools and their relationship with local communities forever, preparing them for full-on privatisation.

Join us in opposing this outrageous plan.

To book your place at this meeting, email your details to