Author Archives: johnebolt

SEA Calendar 2017-18

SEA Meetings

Sat 16th September         Leeds

Sat 18th November          London

Sat 13th January              Birmingham

Sat 10th March                 Manchester

Sat 12th May                     Cardiff

All members are welcome to any part of these meetings. We deal with association business in the morning (from 11.00 am) and schedule policy debate and speakers from 2.00 to 4.00.

Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture

Tue 7th November           House of Commons, London

This year’s lecture will be delivered by Rebecca Allen, Director of Education Datalab.  You can read more about Rebecca and her work at: and at

Book your place for the lecture by email to

Reclaiming Education Annual Conference

This year’s conference will be on Sat 11th November at the NUT building in London. The theme of the conference will be “A national Education Service – what should it mean?” More details are at Reclaiming Education Conference 2017 – What should a National Education Service be like?

SEA Annual Conference

This will be held on Saturday 23rd June in London. It will be followed on Sun 24th by the first meeting of the 2018-19 SEA Executive.


Selina Todd to be the new President of SEA

The Socialist Educational Association is delighted to announce that Professor Selina Todd has accepted nomination as our new President. She replaces the distinguished educationalist and former Director of the Oxford Department of Education, Professor Richard Pring. Richard has been a major figure in the association during his term as president and we are all very grateful to him for his contribution.

Professor Todd is Professor of Modern History at Oxford. Her specialisms are the study of class, inequality, working-class history, feminism and women’s lives. Her most recent major work was the acclaimed bestseller “The People: the Rise and Fall of the Working Class 1910 to 2010″. In 2014 she delivered the SEA’s Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture on “The Golden Age of the grammar School: Exploding the Myth”. The lecture can be read at

We also welcome Ian Mearns MP as a new Vice President of SEA. Ian has been MP for Gateshead since 2010 and is a member of the Education Select Committee. He replaces Ken Purchase, formerly MP for Wolverhampton North East – someone who we still miss in the SEA. Ian has been a regular member of the SEA Parliamentary branch and we look forward to his continuing contribution to our work.

Education Politics June 2017

The latest issue of the SEA journal “Education Politics” has been published and can be accessed here It contains some post election thoughts from the editor Martin Johnson, the General Secretary John Bolt and ATL’s Mary Bousted.

The main theme however is the curriculum – an issue that got very little attention in the Labour manifesto. The writers in this issue remind us, in different ways, that the narrow and out dated vision of the curriculum imposed in the last seven years needs to be challenged.Just as the Tories hark back to the ’50’s by seeking to restore selective schooling, so their approach to the business of learning is firmly rooted in the past.It’s time Labour owned the future by developing an approach to learning that meets the needs of our fast changing world.


Education after the Election – SEA Annual Conference 2017

SEA’s Annual Conference will be an important opportunity to consider the implications of the General Election for education and the issues that are likely to be facing us in the next Parliament.

I can now confirm the speakers and the themes we’ll be addressing. They will be:

  • The political and parliamentary outlook after the election – John Cryer MP Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party
  • Child development in the early years and its implications for policy – Pam Jarvis from Leeds Metropolitan University
  • School funding cuts and the campaign to resist them – Matt Dykes,
  • Resisting the return of grammar schools and secondary moderns – Councillor Michael Pavey, Political and Parliamentary Officer, Comprehensive Future.
  • Post election prospects for post 16 education – Eddie Playfair, Principal NewVic Sixth Form College and former Vice Chair of SEA.

The conference will be held in Room B04, Birkbeck College, Malet Street London, WC1E 7HY on Saturday 24th June 2017. The AGM will begin at 10.00 and the Conference will start at  11.00 am.

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

Please book your place by e mail to . Payment can be made on the day.

SEA at the NUT Conference Cardiff 17th April

Towards a new education policy for Labour

Fringe meeting at NUT Conference

Date: Monday 17th April.

Time: 5.45 pm

Venue: Fringe 2 (Level 5) St David’s Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH

The SEA wants Labour to adopt more ambitious educational policies.

We want to develop policies that build on the day to day experience of people working in schools.

This meeting will be an opportunity for NUT members to tell us how they would answer the key questions that schools will face in the coming years.

John Bolt, General Secretary of SEA, will outline our thinking so far and Ian Murch, NUT Treasurer, will respond. But most of the meeting will be for delegates to make their contributions to the debate.

If you’re in Cardiff for the conference, please come along to the meeting. If you know people who will be, please forward the details to them.

Find out more about the SEA manifesto at

Education Politics March 2017

The latest issue of the SEA journal, Education Politics has been published and can be accessed at

The main focus of the issue is testing and assessment with articles ranging from early years through to post 16. There is also an article by Mike Kane MP, shadow schools minister, covering a wide range of issues. The current schoools funding crisis is analysed in detail by Martin Johnson

There is also a report on the work of the Labour Party’s education policy commission by Emma Hardy and on the SEA’s own manifesto process by John Bolt.

As ever, any feedback or comments from members and supporters would be most welcome.

Labour and Faith Schools

The issues around faith schools have been of concern to SEA for a long time. It’s therefore very relevant that Labour Humanists is hosting a discussion, led by Fiona Millar, on Labour & Faith Schools, on Saturday 1st April. All SEA members are invited.

It’ll start at 3pm upstairs at Morpeth Arms, 58 Millbank, London SW1P 4RW (

The event is free!

If you have any queries, please get in touch with Lee Stacy, Secretary, Labour Humanists, 07971 265835/ 020 8802 4946

SEA in Liverpool 4th March

The next SEA meeting will be in Jack Jones House (the Unite offices), Churchill Way, Liverpool on Saturday 4th March.

The focus for the members meeting, beginning at 1.30 pm, will be on the next elements of the SEA manifesto. We will be looking at special educational needs and disabilities and at  inequality in education in all its aspects. Background material will be posted on the website in advance of the meeting.

All SEA members are invited to join the meeting. If you can’t be there but would like to have your say on these issues, do send your ideas to