At the 2018 Labour Party Conference a major step forward was taken with the commitment to end the academies programme and establish an integrated and locally accountable school system.
Since then the SEA working with academic and legal experts has developed a strategy for achieving this goal which could be put into effect from Day 1 of a Labour government. It is highly unlikely given the apparent lack of any systematic discussion elsewhere that Conference will be able to consider any other worked out propositions about the way forward.
It is vital that Conference makes a clear decision to take forward what was agreed last year and the SEA hopes that members will actively support this year’s conference motion by passing it at ward and CLP meetings, either as ward/CLP policy or as your CLP conference motion. The motion is as follows:-
It has now become obvious that Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) and even stand-alone academies are a charter for profiteering and even at times outright corruption, with lucrative contracts handed to family and friends. It is also true that too many private companies are providing services to schools that could better be provided in house. The result is public money meant for front line educational services finding its way into the pockets of private individuals.
- The commitment announced at the last conference, to consult on and establish a new regulatory framework for schools, to ensure that all schools follow the same rules, with schools being regulated by statute, rather than thousands of individual contracts.
- The paper “Academies, autonomy, equality and democratic accountability: Reforming the fragmented publicly funded school system in England” (Wolfe and West) and the document “Restoring a democratically accountable school system” from the SEA setting out a coherent plan for implementing this pledge.
- The commitment made by John McDonell in February 2018 when he declared Labours intention to “properly fund local authorities”, “bring services back in house” and “strengthen local democracy”.
Conference believes the labour party should now commit to ensuring:
- Local Authorities establish reformed, democratically accountable local education committees with stakeholder representation.
- That all publicly funded schools be brought back under the control of these new local education committees.
- The newly empowered local education committees will be the default providers of school services and will be appropriately funded.