SEA believes there is an urgent need for Labour to develop a comprehensive education manifesto which challenges the current orthodoxy. We know we are facing crises in teacher supply and in school places. Curriculum and examinations are wholly unfit for the 21st century and the privatisation of schooling is destroying democratic accountability and enabling an unprecedented level of corruption. Teaching is increasingly driven by the demands of the accountability and inspection regime rather than by the actual needs of children and our wider society. We need to respond to all these issues with a new and radical agenda.
SEA has decided to work towards its own policy statement which we aim to publish around next year’s Party Conference. Our work will be based around these ten themes:
- providing enough good school places and providing fair access to them for all in ways that strengthen rather than weaken social cohesion
- ensuring there are enough good teachers – covering recruitment, training, CPD and retention
- improving the quality and availability of early years provision
- reducing inequality in educational outcomes – or should this be a theme which runs through all the others rather than something on its own?
- improving provision for those with special educational needs
- a curriculum (5 to 14) which adequately prepares young people for their adult lives and an assessment regime which supports learning and does not dominate teaching
- post-14 education and training which offers all students a full range of academic and vocational opportunities
- ensuring that there is adequate funding fairly distributed, less waste and that resources are properly used for the benefit of young people
- restoring opportunities for local communities to determine how their local school system is organised and who schools are run
- a system of monitoring and supporting schools which is not punitive and genuinely promotes improvement.
The debate will begin in our Birmingham meeting on 7th January when we will look at issues around the teaching profession and around monitoring and accountability.
We would be delighted to receive ideas from our members and indeed from anyone who is interested in making a contribution. All material received will be available on this website under Resources/ SEA manifesto 2017
The Birmingham meeting will be at the Priory Rooms, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, B4 6AF. The policy debate will begin at 2.00 pm and all members are welcome.