Category Archives: News

Amanda Spielman talks to Ann Mroz at the Hay Festival.

Mike Newman (SEA Cymru) writes:

Ann Mroz is the editor of the Times Educational Supplement.

Amanda Spielman is the Ofsted Chief Inspector. She was with KMG Thomson McLintock from 1982 to 1986 then Kleinwort Benson from 1986 to 1992. She was a director of Newstead Capital from 1992 to 1994 and of Bridgewater Business Analysis from 1994 to 1995. She was a principal at Mercer Management ConsultingBoston from 1995 to 1997 and then at Nomura Principal Finance from 1997 to 2004.

With this astounding background in educational theory, she became part of the founding management team at Ark Schools. From 2011 to 2016 she was chair of Ofqual, the exam regulator.

In June 2016, Spielman was selected by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to take over as Chief Inspector of schools and children’s services in England. Following a pre-appointment hearing, Spielman’s nomination was rejected by the Education Select Committee which expressed concerns about her suitability, her lack of teaching experience and her failure to show “passion” or understanding of the “complex role”. However, their objections were overridden by the minister, who dismissed their arguments and confirmed her intention to appoint Spielman. Continue reading

‘What would a radical National Education Service look like?

SEA members and supporters may be interested in another event designed to explore the issues around the idea of a National Education Service. It’s at Hamilton House on Wednesday 20th June at 6.00 pm.

Some of the questions that will be discussed at the event include:

– What should a National Education Service be for?
– How can we reduce the fragmentation of the education system and promote lifelong learning?
– How do we improve the parity of esteem between academic and vocational/technical education?
– How can we ensure teachers are trained to teach the whole curriculum, including sex education and PSHE?
– How do we solve the retention and recruitment crisis in teaching?

The speakers are:

Melissa Benn (Campaigner and author)
Kevin Courtney (National Education Union General Secretary)
Gus John (UK’s first black Director of Education and IOE Professor)
Warwick Mansell (Education journalist)
Ciaran Thapar (Youth worker and writer)
Tasnima Ahmed (Poet and educator)
Ali Stephens (Radical Education Forum)
Chair: Holly Rigby (Teacher and Momentum activist)

You can book for the event at

Time to Act – An Education Bill for the new Parliament

NewEdnBillOver the last year the SEA together with our partners in the Reclaiming Education Alliance has been promoting seven key principles that we think should be at the heart of a new government’s education policies. We believe that they all need to be implemented if we are to build a school system that promotes high standards, fairness and equality across the country. As we approach the election, we have developed our ideas about how the principles can be put into practice. Continue reading

New Greek government launches education reforms

 Tasos Kourakis

International Tasos Kourakis, Deputy Minister of Education

Syriza seems to have hit the ground running with regard to education. The new Deputy Minister of Education Tasos Kourakis has announced a series of extensive reforms that are going to be implemented in education immediately, in a interview he gave to the Sto Kokkino radio station on Tuesday. Mr. Kourakis pointed out that “collective action” is necessary in order to implement changes with the best possible results. Continue reading

Teachers in France condemn the Charlie Hebdo murders

CharlieHebdoAmbulance The French teachers organisation Fédération syndicale unitaire (FSU) issued a statement today (7th January) on the Charlie Hebdo attack.

‘The FSU condemns the appalling attack carried out today against Charlie Hebdo. It expresses its complete solidarity with the victims and personnel of Charlie Hebdo. It offers its condolences to the victims’ families. Currently twelve people, journalists and policemen, have paid with their lives for the right of expression. Continue reading

Selective education is rising up the agenda: it’s no time for fudging

Artists impression of the Sevenoaks "annexe"

Artists impression of the Sevenoaks “annexe”

According to the Kent on Sunday newspaper (page 11) Nicky Morgan is expected to approve the renewed application for a Sevenoaks “annex” to the Weald of Kent Grammar School.

The Conservatives have blown hot and cold on selective schooling. Some recognise that selection at eleven doesn’t have sufficient political legs to run very far but others just dream of a return to the way things were. Continue reading

Books not a ‘privilege’ for prisoners after all

Prisoner-VectorIn the Orwellian mindset occupied by Chris Grayling and the Ministry of Justice, a ruling by Mr Justice Collins that found ‘refer(ring) to them (books) as a privilege is strange’ was regarded as ‘a surprising judgement.’ So it seems that prisoners will be entitled to receive books through the post in future as they did until recently (provided they don’t contain a file or drugs). Continue reading

Nicholas Russell

Nicholas Russell     1969-2014

Nicholas Russell

The SEA is extremely sad to report that one of its longstanding National Executive members, Nicholas Russell, died suddenly on 17th August 2014.
Former SEA General Secretary, Martin Dore posted a short tribute on the Facebook group page set up in memory of Nicholas: ‘In addition to all his other commitments, Nicholas was also a longstanding NEC member of the Socialist Educational Association. Continue reading