A draft policy statement has been prepared by Lawrence McCarthy in response to the Party’s consultation on a National Education Service. Members and Branches are invited to send any comments or amendments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The draft will be discussed at an on-line meeting on 16 June.
LI Response on the National Education Service
Labour International is the CLP for labour members living overseas. We welcome the chance to contribute to the consultation on the National Education Service.
This as a great opportunity to transform our society; the principles embodied in an education system will reverberate in its political structures, its social mores, its economic activity and every other sphere.
We focus on the theme of democracy; making the institution accountable to the learner and breaking up networks of entrenched privilege.
- Attending an educational institution should not be required to take an exam. Exams and qualifications should be available to all.
- education should be freely available but not compulsory.
- Homeschooling should be supported. Materials can be produced and made available at a national level, free of charge. Neighbourhood schools should offer advice and assistance to homeschooling parents.
- Attending school or not should not be a binary choice. Parents might choose to send their child to the school to learn chemistry but do everything else at home.
- Schools should be forbidden from making school uniforms compulsory.
- Teachers should face much less bureaucracy. This wastes time, encourages box checking and stifles creativity.
- Ofsted inspections make schools accountable not to the people but to the state. Accordingly, Ofsted should be abolished and replaced by parent led inspection.
- League tables should be abolished.
- To end the institutionalised class privilege associated with particular universities, degrees should no longer be issued by universities but by the ministry of education.
- Universities shall be forbidden from selecting students on the basis of general academic performance rather than on the basis of academic performance in their area of specialisation.
- Universities shall be forbidden from finding out which school a prospective student attended.
- Performance review for teachers will include learner assessment from the earliest possible age.
- Governing bodies shall include elected representatives from learners, teaching staff and custodial and other staff.
- Curricula shall be democratically selected to the greatest extent possible, with the greatest possible student participation in the decision.
- Private schools shall pay VAT.
- No new grammar schools shall be constructed and existing grammar schools shall be converted into comprehensives. No school shall select on grounds of generalized academic ability.