Today we debated Education, I had been campaigning for this to be discussed to develop strong anti-academy policy, I think we got half way there. I wrote a speech but wasn’t called.

I wanted to make two points, the first is that the purpose of the Education system is to create a public good and not a revenue stream for the private sector and secondly that the profit motive clearly conflicts wit pedagogical excellence. (Someone else did get that word into their speech and like me if I’d been called stumbled on it.)

I am sorry that the words are so weak on the FEs.

Here’s Angela’s speech,

The motion text is below or overleaf. 

Composite 4 Schools System

Conference notes:

1. The report in the Times Educational Supplement on 10 August that Academy heads in Kent are refusing to accept looked-after children into their schools.
2. That this is symptomatic of the regressive nature of the unaccountable, inefficient academisation programme that is continuing apace across England.
3. That the majority of secondary schools are now academies or are part of a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) but two thirds of primary schools still remain under Local Authority control.
4. That academisation is incompatible with an egalitarian and democratic education system serving the many, not the few.
5. The Panorama programme on 10th September exposed examples of corruption in the academies programme and the failure of the government to maintain proper control over public money. It notes the above are the consequences of a semiprivatised,
market-based education system where schools compete to boost their standing in the league tables, often at the expense of the more vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Conference welcomes Labour’s commitment to ensure that all schools will be taken back under local democratic control under a Labour Government; applauds those Labour controlled authorities who have resisted academisation; believes that the
Labour Party should adopt a more robust policy of opposition to the continuing academisation of schools, especially our Primary schools.

Conference notes that there are many local campaigns of opposition to the academisation programme involving parents, teachers and local community activists and believes Labour should offer support and encouragement to these activists in resisting academisation in line with our commitment to community organising.

The main task in education for a Labour government will be to recreate a coherent, planned and appropriately funded national public system which is accountable to its various stakeholders and communities. However, the principles of accountability and
collaboration which are central to our NES charter cannot be implemented whilst the current fragmented and semi-privatised school system persists. Conference agrees that in government, the Labour Party will bring all schools back under local democratic
control including academy and Multi Academy Trusts. Therefore proposals to wind up MATs and turn over control and management of schools to local democratically controlled structures should be developed urgently.

Conference agrees that the Labour Party should work with the teaching unions, the SEA, academics and others to take this policy forward as a matter of urgency.


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