Posts under ‘Education’

Gove’s ‘reforms’ meet their Waterloo

by Michael Meacher.

One can be forgiven a degree of Schadenfreude that Gove’s ideological zealotry, which has thrown the UK educational system into deep disarray, has now at last turned to consume himself. The charge sheet against Gove is clear. His sensitive touch in dealing with alleged extremism was expressed with his characteristic restraint as “not waiting till […]

Don’t do it Ed – it’s not that bad!

by David Pavett.

Well, actually, it is that bad, but topping yourself won’t solve anything and it would leave us with the unedifying spectacle of Ed Balls/Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna, et al, trying to sound right-wing enough to get Progress’s support – something which I guess they won’t find all that difficult. Things are bad but they can […]

Education in Wales: where is it going?

by Mike Newman.

There was no golden age in Welsh education. While Grammar Schools were more generously provided than in many parts of England, they created failure in the second and third deciles. Children passed the 11+ but left with little or nothing to show for it. Secondary Modern pupils were denied even the chance to fail. After the […]

The Blunkett education review 2: bureaucratic solutions

by David Pavett.

I argued in part 1 of my comments on the Blunkett review that some of its proposals could be beneficial. Now I want to discuss its problems and to argue that some of its key proposals should be rejected. (As previously R = recommendation.) Much of the impact of the review’s key proposals would be […]

The Blunkett education review 1: debating the “middle tier”

by David Pavett.

The Coalition has centralised control of schools as never before. That has served the purpose of forcing the transformation of the English school system: the majority of secondary schools have been removed from the local authority framework and are now directly answerable to the Secretary of State for Education. Labour has focused its criticisms this […]

Labour Students and the cause of free education

by James Elliott.

NUS Conference 2014 was one of the most leftwing conferences in years, passing a string of radical policies of default support for staff strikes, campaigns for a 5:1 pay ratio, a legal fund for victimised student activists and of course, free education. The graduate tax had become a soft compromise option for many in Labour, […]

Why university staff should reject their new pay offer

by Amy Gilligan.

UCU and EIS members in higher education are currently voting in a ballot whether to accept the employer’s “full and final offer” in the pay claim. I’ve voted to reject it, and to continue industrial action as soon as possible. I’d argue others should do the same. The offer, for 2014/15, is a 2 per […]

Four oddities of Labour education policy

by David Pavett.

The Labour Party’s declared aim is to build a “one-nation society” with a “one-nation economy” and a “one-nation education system”. What would a “one-nation education system” look like? Clearly, there can be many different solution to such a complex problem but some general principles would need to apply in all cases. With this in mind […]

A turning point in the National Union of Students?

by Michael Chessum and James McAsh.

This could be a turning point for the National Union of Students (NUS) and the student left. Delegates at the recent NUS’s national conference ended over a decade of NUS opposition to free education. The result is a triumph for principled student activists, inside and outside of NUS, and it is a further defeat for […]

Labour’s education policy draft is woefully inadequate – here’s an alternative

by David Pavett.

The Labour party has made available eight draft policy documents for discussion and amendment. Once again, the procedures surrounding this process are confusing – but it is crucial that party branches exercise their rights. Constituency parties (CLPs) and affiliated organisations are restricted to submitting ten amendments in total, with no more than four on any […]

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