Jeremy Corbyn is the clear choice of Labour Party members and supporters. To general surprise, including his own, he won decisively in the first round with nearly 60% of the votes. The SEA congratulates him on an excellent result.
In his acceptance speech the new leader thanked various organisations that had backed him including the SEA. Being mentioned by the Party leader is not a frequent experience for the SEA. We hope that Jeremy’s commitment to making the Party democratic will include greater recognition of the work of the SEA. The signs are that it will. His views on education are close to those of the SEA and that should enable it to play its part in shaping Labour’s education policies under a new leadership. That could be an exciting prospect.
At the beginning of the leadership contest Jeremy Corbyn wrote in Education Politics:
Compulsory education received large scale and much need investment under the last Labour government – after decades of neglect. But, as Teachers have also been demoralised by years of pay restraint and it is time that our dedicated teachers got a pay rise, and a national pay system restored. They have been disrespected too by the implicit assertion that teaching itself is not a specialist skill.
It is, and the fact that in free schools 1 in 7 teachers are unqualified concerns me greatly for those children’s and our collective future.
It is clear that teachers need the flexibility to teach and tailor their lessons to their communities and their students. The obsession with testing means teaching a rigid curriculum that stifles teachers’ and students’ creativity.
We want schools that co-operate through education authorities and a reformed or refounded Ofsted, acting to advise schools and share best practice.
Co-operative, creative and lifelong – a service there for you whenever you need it throughout your life. If we build that we will all share in the rewards of a more productive economy and a more prosperous future.
We look forward to a new period of wider and more democratic debate about educational issues within the Labour Party.