For a fully comprehensive, local authority-run, well-funded schools system
This Labour Party notes that the government continues to promote fragmentation and privatisation of the schools system through academies and free schools, with a culture of competition based on ever-more onerous testing and Ofsted inspections. This is bad for students, for school workers and for society. Even the CBI says that “UK education policy is turning schools into exam factories, squeezing out creativity and the joy of learning”.
Our commitment to a National Education Service is welcome, but needs further development, including in this area.
We note our manifesto pledge to “ensure that all schools are democratically accountable [so] that they serve the public interest and their local communities.” We believe this requires a fully comprehensive system in which all schools are local authority-run.
We also pledged to “abandon plans to reintroduce baseline assessments and launch a commission to look into curriculum and assessment, starting by reviewing Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs.” This is the least that is necessary given the alarming rise in children under 11 (as young as three!) referred by schools for mental health support.
We believe that “public”/private and grammar schools are also incompatible with an egalitarian and democratic education system serving the many, not the few.
We call for the next Labour government to
1. Immediately stop all academisations and the opening of any new academies or free schools.
2. Quickly put all state schools into full local authority control, as well as FE colleges.
3. Quickly reverse all school cuts, and increase funding.
4. Abolish “public”/private schools by taking them into local authority control.
5. Ensure all schools are comprehensive, secular community schools, open to all.
6. Immediately abolish Ofsted, all SATs tests and league tables.
7. Restore national pay bargaining for teachers, implement the National Education Union’s maximum class size demands, and introduce a national Workload Charter.
For more model motions, see here.
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