Students for Labour for Free Education

By Maisie Sanders

We are a group of students and young people active in the Labour Party who want to mobilise people to campaign for a Labour victory, based on Labour’s policies and our ideas for free, democratic and lifelong education.

Right now the Tory government’s higher education reforms want to raise fees and turn universities into businesses; massive funding cuts, course closures and job losses are decimating Further Education, while our schools are also facing devastating cuts; and workers on campus are increasingly being outsourced, casualised and made redundant. Labour’s plans for a National Education Service, free, funded by corporation tax and available from cradle to grave, begin to outline a radically different vision for education, and we have a big opportunity to agitate for these ideas and influence them.

Students and young people should join Labour, get active in their local parties, constituency Young Labour groups and campus Labour Clubs (or set them up where they don’t exist) and campaign for a Labour victory and for free, democratic and liberatory education inside and outside the party.

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STUDENTS FOR LABOUR FOR FREE EDUCATION – support the campaign

Please email or comment below to add your name to this statement (including any organisation you are part of/positions in the movement you hold) and/or get involved in the campaign: labour4education@gmail.com

Facebook page here

Labour is way ahead in the polls among young people, and even further ahead among students. We want to build on that enthusiasm to mobilise people to register, vote and get active in their Labour clubs, Young Labour groups and CLPs to campaign for a Labour victory on 8th June; and to continue campaigning after the election.

A Labour victory would give us the best chance in a generation of winning a free, publicly funded and democratic education system, a national education service accessible from cradle to grave. We will campaign for Labour’s policies to:

  • Scrap all tuition fees and restore free education, publicly funded by taxing big business
  • Reverse the cuts and invest in Further Education, adult education, and schools.
  • Ensure apprentices are paid the minimum wage, bring back Education Maintenance Allowance for 16-19 year olds, and Maintenance Grants for students at university.
  • Move towards universal free childcare, removing barriers which block many women and mature students from accessing education.
  • Introduce a £10 an hour minimum wage with no age differential or exemptions; ban zero hours contracts; strengthen trade union rights; and close the gender pay gap.
  • Rent controls, investment in housing and stronger rights for tenants
However, we should also push for this vision to be bolder and more radical. Every school should be a democratic community school; all students should receive living grants, paid for by taxing the rich; and Labour should campaign to organise young workers in unions. We must also push for Labour to defend international students’ by taking a much stronger stand in favour of migrants’ rights and freedom of movement, and against the racist PREVENT strategy.
Whatever the outcome, after the election we’ll continue to fight on our campuses and in our Labour clubs, Young Labour groups and CLPs for a democratic, free, lifelong education system.

Initial signatures:

  • Ana Oppenheim, NUS National Executive Committee (NEC), Campaigns Officer at UAL Students Union, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts (NCAFC) National Committee
  • Andrew Peak, OULC Campaigns Officer
  • Alex Booth, City and Islington College SU, National Campaign Against Fees & Cut FE rep
  • Andy Warren, NCAFC National Committee; Lewisham Deptford CLP
  • Ben Towse, UCLU Labour Campaigns Officer, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts National Committee
  • Chris Townsend, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts North co-rep
  • Deborah Hermanns, International students’ campaign rep on NUS NEC
  • Demaine Boocock, Sheffield Labour Students and Sheffield Young Labour, Sheffield SU East Asian Studies Councillor
  • Hansika Jethnani, NCAFC International Rep, NUS National Executive Committee elect
  • Josh Chown, Chair, Surrey Labour Students; Youth Officer, Guildford CLPb
  • Justine Canady, UCLU Women’s Officer elect, NCAFC Women and Non-Binary Co-rep
  • Maisie Sanders, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts Women and Non-Binary Co-rep, Brockley Ward LGBT officer and Youth GC delegate to Lewisham Deptford CLP
  • Mark Crawford, NCAFC Postgraduate Rep, UCLU Postgraduate Officer
  • Monty Shield, QMUL Labour Society Campus Campaigns Officer
  • Omar Raii, NUS National Executive Committee
  • Rida Vaquas, Momentum National Coordinating Group (NCG), Young Labour West Midlands rep, OULC BAME officer
  • Sahaya James, Chair, UAL Labour Club; NUS NEC; Momentum NCG
  • Stuart McMillan, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts National Committee
  • Vijay Jackson, Scottish Labour Young Socialists, BAME Officer (2016-17) of Edinburgh Labour Students
  • Zack Murrell-Dowson, Bristol Young Labour LGBTQ+ officer, Bristol Labour Students LGBT+ officer elect, NCAFC LGBTQ co-rep
  • Alex Stuart, Secretary, Surrey Labour Students; Events Officer, Guildford CLP
  • Josh Berlyne, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts North Rep
  • Katie Leach, UAL Labour society Vice-president
  • Noah Bier, UAL Labour society treasurer
  • Robert Veitch, UAL Labour society
Get involved: email labour4education@gmail.com

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