Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Demise of the State Education System

On the last day of conference I made the following speech on the discussion on schools and the demise of ths State Education system.
We are reprinting this as it was a joint effort. 

Andrew Berry and I wrote the speech together:

"Comrade Chair, delegates

Thank you conference for allowing our amendment to be discussed.

There are daily announcements by Michael Gove or OFSTED attacking Teaching Assistants, teachers, other support staff, head teacher, Boards of Governors or students and last week the latest news was the unveiling of the plan to axe 232,000 Teaching Assistants. This is not just an attack on us and our members but on the whole state education system itself.

Our amendment simply reaffirms our existing policy agreed last year about Local Authority control of education.
This is not just about opposing the vicious Tory led coalition Government policy but also about what we want a future labour Government to implement.Steven Twigg's comments are welcome when he says there will be no more "free schools" but his pronouncements go nowhere near far enough as this still leads to school competing against school.

This Government is fragmenting the welfare state and destroying all the historic gains won by the labour and trade union movement since 1945.

In Islington we work alongside all the other trade union and within the mass campaign on education. We work with elected Labour Councillors when we can and we recognise this cannot happen everywhere.
Islington Labour Group have opposed Academies since 2006  and have stood shoulder to shoulder with us..
Together we recently stopped an attempt to create an academy at The Bridge Special School.
It is our view and experience that Labour Councils/Groups should brief and "whip" Labour party appointed school governors to stand up against Free Schools and Academies.

Last week another campaign was created in parliament on this, called Picking up the Pieces. It is vital that there is maximum unity between all the different campaigns. Our amendment also calls on the national union to lead these campaigns at all levels beoming centrally involved rather than leaving the teachers unions to fight on alone.

Finally, just as the NUT, ATL and now the NAHT have done, we too have no confidence in Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education.

I move the amendment."

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