Campaign against the education white paper!

Submitted by Gemma_S on 5 April, 2016 - 11:46

The attacks in the government's education white paper are enormous and include the forced academisation of all schools (smashing up remaining teachers terms and conditions and abolishing all local control of schools) and huge funding cuts for schools.

The NUT plans to run a political campaign linking up with other school workers and with parents and students. However it will be up to activists to make sure this happens in a real way locally rather than just being materials produced centrally by the union.

This is not just an issue for teachers (or other school workers), everyone can campaign on this.

Our activists will be approaching local NUT, and other school worker unions, to set up local campaign groups which leaflet parents and students, hold public rallies, organise protests and lobbies etc. This is a very good opportunity for Momentum groups to set up some campaigning activity.

Don't wait for the unions to tell you to do something. Below are some motions written by activists in Lewisham which could be adapted for local use elsewhere.

Stop the education White Paper – Defend and extend public, democratic, comprehensive education

Lewisham Momentum resolves:
1. To support and promote the Stop Academies in Lewisham (SAIL) campaign set up by the education unions and parents locally.
2. To approach SAIL, Lewisham NUT, other education unions, local Labour Parties, and others to work together to launch a local campaign to fight the Tories' Education White Paper, defend our schools and education workers, and fight for public, well-funded, democratic, comprehensive education.
3. To move motions in our Labour Parties and unions on this (see model motion).
4. To write to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell congratulating them on their clear stance against the White Paper and asking them to vigorously campaign against it. To also, in this letter, call upon them to a) unequivocally support the education unions' industrial action, and visit those union picket lines when strikes occur; and b) push for the party to commit to guarantee better, nationally negotiated and guaranteed terms and conditions for teachers and education workers, reversing academisation etc and bring all schools into a system of democratic local authority control.

***

Model motion for Labour Parties in Lewisham: Stop the education White Paper – Defend and extend public, democratic, comprehensive education
This Labour Party notes:
1) The education White Paper ‘Educational excellence everywhere’.
2) That this White Paper proposes the enforced academisation of every school in England.
3) That under academisation vast amounts of public property will be given away, for free, to private companies and organisations.
4) It also proposes to get rid of Qualified Teacher Status.
5) It also proposes to get rid of parent governors of schools.
6) That the NUT and others are proposing a political campaign against the White Paper.
7) That Jeremy Corbyn chose to speak to NUT conference this year, pledging his support for the campaign against the White Paper.
8) That the NUT will also be balloting its members for strike action to protect, and extend to academies that are not currently covered by them, national terms and conditions.
9) That last year in Lewisham we saw a successful campaign, supported by Vicky Foxcroft MP amongst others, against the academisation of the Prendergast schools.
This Labour Party believes:
1) There is no evidence that academies improve educational practise or outcomes.
2) That enforced academisation is a huge privatisation of our education system.
3) That enforced academisation is a likely to lead to a massive attack on education workers terms and conditions.
4) That every class should have a Qualified Teacher within it.
5) That parent governors are an important part of democratic controls in state education.
6) That the proposals in the education White Paper taken together represent an existential threat to state education, as we know it.
7) That the labour movement must throw itself wholeheartedly in to the fight against the White Paper.
This Labour Party resolves:
1) To support the Stop Academies in Lewisham (SAIL) campaign set up by the education unions and parents.
2) To approach SAIL, Lewisham NUT, other education unions, local Labour Parties and others to work together to launch a local campaign to stop the White Paper, defend our schools and education workers, and fight for public, well-funded, democratic, comprehensive education.
3) To move this motion at the GC to get CLP support for the campaign.
4) To push for the party to commit to a policy of better, national negotiated and guaranteed terms and conditions for teachers and other education workers, reversing academisation etc and bringing all schools into democratic local authority control.
5) To write to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell congratulating them on their clear stance against the White Paper and asking them to vigorously campaign against it. To also call upon them to unequivocally support the education unions; industrial action, in defence of their members terms and conditions, and to visit those union picket lines when strikes occur.
6) To call upon all our elected representatives including our councillors and MP to make clear their opposition to the White Paper and for them to campaign vigorously against it. To also call upon them to unequivocally support the education unions' industrial action, in defence of their members terms and conditions, and to visit those union picket lines when strikes occur.

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