Category Archives: SEA

Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture 2018 | Professor Stephen Gorard

Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture 2018

We are delighted to announce that the SEA is hosting the annual Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture at the House of Commons  on the evening of Tuesday 13th November.  The lecture begins at 6pm and will take place in Committee Room 14.

Date and Time:
Tue, November 13, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM GMT

House of Commons, Committee Room 14

This year’s Caroline Benn Lecture will be delivered by Professor Stephen Gorard from Durham University. Stephen is probably the leading academic specialist on all the issues around school choice, selection and its impact on both schools and on young people themselves. His research is absolutely key to understanding how inequality bedevils our school system. Anyone concerned with these issues will need to hear Stephen’s latest views on school intakes and their impact on social cohesion.

Register via Eventbrite to book your tickets for this free event.

We anticipate there will be a high level of demand, so we would advise you to book your place as soon as possible.

SEA asks the Labour conference to reject all 11+ selection.

edbpltcscoversept2016On Tuesday SEA’s delegate, Sarah Williams, will move the resolution on selective schooling at the Labour Conference. The resolution, if passed, will represent a significant moment in the long struggle against selection. It not only asks the party to oppose the current government proposals but also makes the case for the phasing out of all remaining selective education. The full text is in the previous post on this page.

The latest issue of the SEA journal, Education Politics, addresses the issues around selection in detail. It contains an analysis of the arguments by Melissa Benn as well as a number of personal testimonies to the value of comprehensive schooling. It can be accessed here: education-politics-september-2016.

Defeating the government’s proposals won’t be easy. Ending selection everywhere will be even harder. So we would encourage all Labour members and supporters who want to be part of that campaign to join the SEA – just follow the tab on the top of this page.

Labour Conference 2016 delegates asked to support SEA motion to end selection in state-funded schools

John Bolt, SEA Secretary

John Bolt, SEA Secretary

John Bolt, SEA Secretary, has called on SEA members and others attending Labour Party conference to support our motion on grammar schools in the ballot this coming Sunday.

John says, ‘ This is a critical issue. We need to take every opportunity to make the case against this appalling proposal. It is also an opportunity to make the case for taking action to phase out all selection wherever it remains.’ He added, ‘I would like to ask all SEA members to do what they can to persuade their conference delegates to vote for this resolution in the priorities ballot on Sunday. A number of CLPs have submitted similar motions but we need to maximise support for it so that it reaches the conference agenda.’

The text of the motion is as follows:

Conference deplores the Prime Minister’s threat “to launch a new generation of grammar schools by scrapping the ban on them imposed almost 20 years ago”, reported in the Daily Telegraph on 6th August;

regrets that a selective system continues in force in parts of the country;

is aware that research evidence, both in England and internationally, shows that that selective schools do not promote social mobility or contribute to the raising of standards.

recognises that the purpose of education should be to provide all children, irrespective of background or specific needs, with the skills, knowledge, enthusiasm and understanding necessary to lead a rewarding and fulfilling life. Labelling children as failures before education has given them the chance to develop, which is what selection does, is one of the prime causes of division and unfairness in our society.

therefore commits the party to opposing any expansion to selective education and also to the ending of educational selection in all state funded schools through the establishment in all areas of a genuinely comprehensive and inclusive secondary education system that provides for all children according to their needs.’

Labour Leadership

AFTER HAVING HEARD OF SHADOW CABINET RESIGNATIONS AND OF some mps calling for the Party leader Jeremy corbyn to step down so that a leadership election can take place The National Executive Committee of the socialist educationAL association, at its meeting on Sunday 26th June, agreed that now is not the time for a Labour Party leadership election.


Socialist Societies meet Tom Watson MP

Sheila with Tom Watson MP

Sheila Dore and Tom Watson MP

On Monday 30th November 2015 John Bolt, SEA General Secretary and Sheila Dore, SEA Chair attended an official reception for the Labour Party Socialist Societies at the House of Commons.

It was hosted by Tom Watson, Deputy Labour leader. Not surprisingly in the circumstances there was much discussion of the current situation in the Party and its position on action in Syria. There was also much discussion amongst members of all Societies about changes required to make the process more democratic and the policy more reflective of the views of grassroots members, CLPs and Socialist Societies in particular.

Continue reading

Labour’s new leader is a friend of the SEA

JeremyCorbynJeremy Corbyn is the clear choice of Labour Party members and supporters. To general surprise, including his own, he won decisively in the first round with nearly 60% of the votes. The SEA congratulates him on an excellent result.

In his acceptance speech the new leader thanked various organisations that had backed him including the SEA. Being mentioned by the Party leader is not a frequent experience for the SEA. We hope that Jeremy’s commitment to making the Party democratic will include greater recognition of the work of the SEA. The signs are that it will. His views on education are close to those of the SEA and that should enable it to play its part in shaping Labour’s education policies under a new leadership. That could be an exciting prospect. Continue reading

Next SEA Meeting in Doncaster

DoncasterRailwayStationThe next SEA meeting will be on Saturday 12th September. It will be in Doncaster at Doncaster Trades – see for details of the location.

The programme for the day is:

  • Finance Committee at 11.00 am
  • Executive Committee at 12.15 pm
  • Members meeting at 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm.

As our guest speaker at 2.00 pm, we will be delighted to welcome Alan Johnson MP.

All SEA members are welcome at any part of the day’s programme. This is our first meeting in this part of England for some time, so we will particularly welcome members from Yorkshire and the surrounding areas.

One warning – 12th September is St Leger day at Doncaster so early booking of transport might be sensible!

Great debate and discussion at this year’s SEA Conference

There was an excellentRichard Pring SEA 2015 debate and discussion of key educational issues at this year’s SEA Conference.

After a scintillating opening analysis by Professor Richard Pring, the conference discussed the aftermath of the general election and started to look forward towards shaping the educational agenda for the years to come.

The Education and Adoption Bill provoked much reaction and was one of the topics under review FullSizeRenderfrom the two speakers panels. In the morning Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary was joined by Eddie Playfair, NewVic Principal and in the afternoon Mary Bousted ATL General Secretary joined new MP Catherine West and SEA Vice President Melissa Benn to discuss the way ahead. We also agreed our supporting nominations for the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party; respectively Jeremy Corbyn and Stella Creasy.