Motions on: Defending our Education

Motions in this section from:

1) National Union of Teachers
2) Student Assembly Against Austerity
3) Anti-Academies Alliance

1) National Union of Teachers

Conference notes that:
1. The Coalition Government cut post-16 funding by 14% in real terms and the Conservative Government plans substantial further cuts.
2. Abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance has reduced access to post-16 education for disadvantaged students.
3. The austerity programme and paucity of high-quality apprenticeships have led to devastating levels of youth unemployment, reaching 20 per cent.
4. More than three-quarters of sixth form colleges have had to drop courses or increase class sizes, while FE colleges have seen the closure of many courses such as adult education and ESOL.
5. The Government’s “area-based reviews” of post-16 education provision will increase the pressure for merger on FE and sixth form colleges.
6. Lucy Powell has publicly stated that the Labour Party expects that 4 in 10 FE and sixth form colleges could close.
7. FE and sixth form colleges have to pay VAT on goods and services, while schools and academies are not liable for these costs.
 
Conference believes that:
Cuts to post-16 funding and forcing FE and sixth form colleges into merger or closure will be bad for young people and the economy.

Sixth form colleges are an important section of the post-16 sector, they provide high quality education and excellent outcomes whilst educating proportionately more disadvantaged pupils than the maintained school sector.
 
Conference resolves to:
a) Call on the Government to restore the funding for post-16 education to pre-austerity levels and to support sixth form colleges in maintaining their separate status.
b) Call on the Government to reimburse FE and sixth form colleges for the cost of VAT.
c) Support the campaign of the National Union of Teachers, working with other trade unions and other organisations, to restore post-16 funding and save sixth form colleges and agrees to support any industrial or campaigning activity that the unions organise.

2) Student Assembly Against Austerity

Student Assembly Against Austerity National Committee

Student Assembly Against Austerity motion for the People’s Assembly Against Austerity National Conference November 2015

This Conference believes:
1. We have seen the trebling of tuition fees, massive education cuts and the increasing privatisation of education. Britain is now one of the most expensive places in the world to study with students graduating with an average of £40,000 worth of debt.
2. The Tory government is now deepening its attacks on students and education. They are scraping maintenance grants which will put millions of the poorest students in an extra £10,000 worth of debt.
3. The Tories are also bringing forward a Higher Education Green Paper which, in the words of Jeremy Corbyn seeks to make “university education even more exclusive and even less affordable for the future.” This Green Paper proposes to allow the “best” universities to increase tuition fees, invite more private providers into our universities and attack the ability of students’ unions to function.
4. Students are facing a cost of living crisis as a result of the government’s broad austerity offensive. Low wages, rising rents, food prices, travel, energy bills and deteriorating public services are all driving this crisis.

This conference resolves:

1. Support the Student Assembly Against Austerity’s national week of action to ‘Save Our Grants and Defend Education’ taking place from Monday 8 February – Sunday 14 February.
2. To support the Student Assembly Against Austerity’s campaigns to:

a) End all cuts to education and public services & for fair pay and conditions for all staff
b) Demand free education with the abolition of tuition fees and student debt
c) Oppose the government’s Higher Education which seeks to deepen the marketization of our education system
d) Stop the racist scapegoating agenda – no to the Prevent agenda which victimises Muslim students
e) Defend our NHS – no to the Junior Doctors Contract, stop scrapping bursaries for student nurses
f) Demand the government invest in education not war
g) Take on the bigotry, inequality and discrimination that comes with the austerity offensive
h) Demand an end to climate chaos – green jobs now
I) Call for a liberated and democratic curriculum

3) Anti-Academies Alliance

Conference notes that:

1. Austerity and privatisation are undermining our schools and colleges. Already Sixth form colleges are facing draconian cuts with similar to follow across the school system. Privatisation through academy status is breaking up a coherent and progressive education system.

2. The market in education is failing. Sponsored academies – the Tories’ favourite and only ‘tool of school improvement’ are the least effective type of school when it comes to raising attainment. In almost every area of school life – from the curriculum, through pedagogy and assessment to wider issues such as ‘British Values’ and Prevent – the Tories and their neo-liberal ideology are failing. The recent decision to expand grammar schools illustrates that the Tories have no interest in social justice.

3. From nursery to university; from SEND (Special Education Needs and Disability) to Further and Adult education and even in outlying areas such as prison education, privatisation is not only failing to deliver a better education, it is destroying vital services, crushing hopes  and driving society backwards to a Victorian style society where high quality education is a privilege not a right.

4. That Further and Adult education is under severe attack. The adult education budget has been cut by 39% since 2010. This has resulted in cuts of 1 million student places and 1,000s of jobs. The government ‘area reviews’ are a thinly disguised rationalisation offensive that will lead to hundreds of colleges disappearing.

5. There is a mass movement, including amongst parents and teachers, which is hostile to neo-liberal austerity and privatisation.

6. Jeremy Corbyn is the first Labour leader in a generation who openly and actively supports comprehensive, progressive and democratic education.
 
Conference welcomes

1. The work of education unions and campaign groups such as the Anti Academies Alliance in opposing the Tories agenda in education. It applauds attempts to develop a unified national campaign for education.

2. Jeremy Corbyn’s idea of a National Education Service. A ‘cradle to grave’ education system would be a genuinely liberating move. It offers a rational and coherent approach and it openly challenges the ‘business is best’ culture that has undermined the delivery of public services.

Conference agrees

1. To help develop a united campaign across society to improve the funding and quality of education, in particular the further development of the comprehensive system.  

2. To work with the full range of stakeholders, campaigning groups, trade unions and other social movements towards creating a National Education Service.

3. It agrees to participate in a National Convention on Education in order to help develop a National Education Service.

Showing 2 reactions

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  • commented 2016-05-25 11:45:53 +0100
    As a citizen, I appreciate the role of People’s Assembly’s efforts for supporting in the country. They are working against the austerity in the UK AS (END Austerity Now). We hope and believe that they will successful in their Mission & Students will get Essay writing help at http://www.essaydone.co.uk. Because they are also the part of an online educational based campaign.
  • commented 2015-11-28 10:01:36 +0000
    I think that the supposition at the back this query – that education is a procedure of weed out the ‘slow’ or unintelligent kids – is incorrect. Education be supposed to be for everybody, still if they’re not the the majority rationally luminous kid in the earth. http://www.essaythinker.co.uk

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