The Socialist Educational Association (SEA) won a stunning victory at Labour’s Annual Women’s Conference on 27th June when the Conference agreed that a future Labour government should end the academisation of schools in England and re-establish community control of schools through local authorities and the involvement of parents, education staff and students.
The SEA’s motion, tabled with Thirsk and Malton Constituency Labour Party, also called for co-ordinated action and resources to challenge sexism and gender-stereotyping in schools and colleges which research from UK Feminista and Ofsted have confirmed is widespread.
Pam Tatlow, the SEA’s delegate to the Conference, said ‘A fractured, fragmented school system dominated by Multi-Academy Trusts and edicts from the Department of Education will not deliver the progressive agenda that students deserve or the collaborative framework that schools need to tackle the deep-seated and historic problem of sexism in schools.’
James Whiting, General Secretary of the SEA which is the Labour Party’s only education affiliate, said ‘We warmly welcome the support of the Women’s Conference for our “Give us back our Schools” campaign.
The long-standing issues of disadvantage and discrimination that impact on opportunities and life chances of women will not be resolved by the marketisation and privatisation of education or the unaccountable academy system which have been features of the Conservative government’s education agenda for the last decade.
Our call for the return of local authorities and an end to sexism in schools was supported by over 96% of Labour women at the Conference but also by trade unions such as Unison, Unite and GMB which represent thousands of education staff, many of them women.
We hope that Labour ‘s shadow front bench team will now commit to bring schools in England into an integrated, cooperative, transparent and non-selective education system under the aegis of accountable local authorities.’