The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has sent out a manifesto to its members as part of its ‘Stand Up For Education’ campaign in the lead up to the election. It is a well thought out vision for education with a wide set of demands that include action on child poverty which counters the current government line that schools are responsible for righting inequality.
Key points in the manifesto include:
- A coherent 14 – 19 framework of qualifications
- Less testing, getting rid of league tables and local authorities to have a key role in evaluating schools
- All staff to be qualified and government money for staff training over the course of their careers
- Targets to end child poverty including the abolition of the bedroom tax, high quality early years education and the restoration of support for post-16 students
- Restoration of the power of local authorities to plan and provide school places and to be the local democratic organisation responsible for education
- An end to the free school and forced academy programmes and oversight of all state-funded schools to be returned to the local authorities.
- No schools to be run for profit and an end to outsourcing and marketisation
- Education funding to be restored to at least 2010 levels with more support for post-16 provision.
- A reduction in workload, restoration of a national pay structure and an earlier retirement age.
A supplementary booklet sent out with the manifesto goes into details of how the campaign can be advanced, particularly by working with parents and also by action short of strikes, though there will be consultation on industrial action.
An interesting section says that the problems in Britain are not unique and academics have identified what they call GERM – the Global Education Reform Movement. This imposes a business model on education. The traits of GERM are competition (eg between schools), test based accountability, performance related rewards and attacks on teaching unions. Education becomes a commodity, which can be traded globally.
To read and/or order copies of the manifesto go to http://www.teachers.org.uk/manifesto.
To read our Vision For Education: http://www.theworker.org.uk/br-education.htm