West Midlands Schools Cuts Summit

Jack Dromey MP, Birmingham City council, the NAHT and the NEU are hosting a school summit on Friday November 10th 12:30-2pm with Angela Rayner MP. It is an opportunity for teachers and staff to share fears about what the school funding cuts the Tory Government are introducing will mean for them.

SEA members in the West Midlands are invited to attend. The invitation can be downloaded here: School cuts summit

Rebecca Allen to deliver the Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture 2017

This year’s Caroline Benn Memorial Lecture will be on Tuesday 7th November in the House of Commons beginning at 6.00pm.

 It will be delivered by Dr Rebecca Allen, Director of Datalab. Her theme will be “Making teaching a job worth doing (again)”

 Datalab is a research organisation that uses large scale administrative and survey datasets to support policy makers and those working with schools. It has developed a formidable reputation for the quality of its analysis and for its willingness to challenge received wisdom and assumptions.

Rebecca Allen is a former school teacher and academic at UCL Institute of Education. She is an expert in school accountability, pupil admissions and teacher labour markets.

 In introducing the lecture, Dr Allen writes:

“Policy makers and the profession agree that we need to reduce teacher working hours, but doing something about it isn’t as easy as it first appears. This lecture will describe how government, the inspectorate, school leaders and the profession itself have, through seemingly unconnected decisions, created a toxic working environment for teachers. It will suggest a blueprint for how we make the job manageable again.”

This is a free event but it’s important that those wishing to attend register by emailing secretary@socialisteducationalassociation.org.

We anticipate there will be a high level of demand for this event, so please register your interest as soon as possible.



Towards a National Education Service

One of the most intriguing issues to arise from the 2017 Labour manifesto was the idea of a National Education Service. To many it was an exciting idea but needed working through in a good deal more detail.

The latest issue of the SEA Journal, Education Politics, takes on that issue. In particular it looks at what it should mean for further, higher and adult education and for youth work. It starts from the premise that as a country we have sadly neglected technical and vocational education and in the post Brexit world we will urgently need to do better. This issue of EP can be found here: Education Politics September 2017

The NES will also be the theme of this year’s Reclaiming Education conference to be held at the NUT (NEU!) building – Hamilton House – in London on 11th November. The event is promoted by the SEA in partnership with other campaigning groups including CASE, Comprehensive Future and the Alliance for Inclusive Education.

The keynote speaker will be Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the NEU but a substantial amount of time will be given to allow delegates to make their contribution to defining what Labour’s NES should look like.

More details of the conference can be found at  http://www.reclaimingeducation.org.uk/Reclaiming%20Education%20flyer%201%20(booking).pdf

Book your place at http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/403357







SEA in Leeds 16th September

The next SEA meetings will be at Leeds Church Institute, 20 New Market Street, Leeds, LS1 6DG (note the entrance is in Central Road) on Saturday 16th September.All SEA members are welcome.

As usual the schedule will be

Finance and General Purposes at 11.0
National Executive at 12.15
Lunch break at 1.30
Members meeting at 2.00 to 4.00 pm

A significant item on the NEC agenda will be how we can work with our growing membership to develop local branches and relate better to local constituency parties.

The main theme in the all members meeting will be the curriculum and its assessment. We’ll be looking to critique the Tory National Curriculum and the new SATs, GCSEs and A level exams. However it will be really useful if members with direct experience of the new curriculum and exams can share their views and their students’ experiences.



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:

https://educationdatalab.org.uk/author/beckyallen/ and at


Book your place for the lecture by email to secretary@socialisteducationalassociation.org

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 https://socedassoc.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/cbml_2014.pdf.

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 https://socialisteducationalassociation.org/publications/. 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 secretary@socialisteducationalassociation.org . Payment can be made on the day.