Over the next 18 months, all the parties will be setting out their policies for the next Parliament. As far as education is concerned the stakes could hardly be higher. We know that another Tory government will mean more privatisation leading to a school system that will be increasingly incoherent and unable to meet the needs of either young people or society.
There is an urgent need to map out an alternative vision – something that even Nick Clegg seems to have realised. With a new Labour Shadow Secretary of State just in post, now is exactly the time to try to make an impact on the policy making process.
The Reclaiming Education Conference will be about restoring education as a public service that is accountable to local communities. The conference will be on Saturday 16th November at the University of London Union and it will build on last year’s event which we called “Picking up the Pieces”. That conference led to the production of the manifesto “A Better Future for our Schools”
which was launched in the House of Commons last June.
In this conference we’ll be looking in more detail at three areas:
1 The broad aims of education – getting beyond narrow targets to explore the knowledge, skills and qualities that young people will need in their adult lives
2 How local communities can get back a say in the education of their children rather than have everything decided by ministers in Whitehall.
3 How we can provide fair access to good schools for everyone – in particular for children from disadvantaged backgrounds who often lose out now.
The three keynote speakers will be:
1 Mick Waters – former CEO of Manchester and Director of Curriculum at QCA – described in the Guardian as someone who “has probably changed secondary schools more profoundly than anyone in the past 20 years.”
2 Mary Bousted – General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers
3 Catherine West – former Leader of Islington and now prospective candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green.
Just as importantly though there will be the opportunity in discussion for all delegates to work through just how a new government could go about putting into practice the principles in “A Better Future”.
Full details of the conference including booking information can be found here
The cost is £25 including lunch if booked in advance.
“A Better Future for Our Schools” has been developed and is endorsed by the Campaign for State Education, the Socialist Educational Association, Information for School and College Governors and Comprehensive Future.