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.

Congratulations to SEA Deputy General Secretary Emma Hardy selected as Labour candidate for Hull West and Hessle

The SEA is delighted that Emma Hardy– a Hessle town councillor and ex-primary school teacher – has been selected as the Labour candidate to replace Alan Johnson as the MP for Hull West and Hessle.     Emma Hardy

Emma, who is also Deputy General Secretary of the SEA, has been an active campaigner on educational matters for many years. We look forward to supporting her during the campaign and to seeing her returned to Parliament on June 8th 2017.

Ideas for an Education Manifesto

The General Election is upon us and the Labour Party is calling for all stakeholders to contribute to the manifesto process. Here are some ideas from the SEA:

Education Policies for the Labour Manifesto 2017 from the Socialist Educational Association

Labour should commit to:

  • Maintaining a national schools funding formula but raising funding levels overall so all schools can meet the extra costs facing them.
  • Raising the pay of school staff so it is again comparable with other graduate professions and properly addressing teachers’ excessive workload.
  • Restoring the ethos of “every child matters” and ensuring that the provision is there to support it.
  • In particular, restoring the sure start network to support families and children in the early years.
  • Engaging schools, universities, employers, trade unions and parents in a long term review of what is taught in schools so that young people can gain the knowledge, skills, creativity and personal qualities needed to succeed in a rapidly changing world.
  • As part of an overall restructure of local and regional government, devolving responsibility for planning the provision of school places and monitoring school performance and financial management to local elected bodies.
  • Maintaining the ban on any new academic selection and committing over time to phasing out selective systems where they still exist.
  • Reforming the admissions system so as to ensure that the intakes of all comprehensive schools are properly representative of their local community.
  • Radically reducing the pressure on both children and teachers caused by too much testing and by punitive inspection systems.
  • Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to develop new skills throughout life and can meet the challenges of rapid economic and social change.
  • Providing long term support to schools in areas where achievement is low as part of a comprehensive regeneration programme.
  • Respecting research and evidence and listening to both professionals and families before launching new policies.

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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