The Government’s education White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, is a threat to state education as we know it and to education workers’ pay and working conditions. It will only be defeated by a combination of industrial action by the education workers’ unions and by a political campaign without and within the Labour Party and the labour movement.
It is important that this campaign isn’t just left to education workers and parents. The issues affect us all. The campaign must unite education workers, parents, activists and the public. The sheer level of private looting that is being licensed by forced-academisation, with currently public assets being given free to private organisations, is motivation enough to join this campaign. There is a huge potential to build a mass campaign which will not only defeat the White Paper but reverse the direction of the Tories’ privatisation drive in education and well beyond it.
On Monday 4 April, Lewisham Momentum unanimously passed a motion to build such a campaign. It agreed to approach existing anti-academy campaigns, education unions, local Labour Parties to fight the White Paper and fight for public, well-funded, democratic, comprehensive education. To pursue this campaign we are going to move motions in local Labour Parties and unions (a model motion is available) and 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.
We will also call upon them to unequivocally support the education unions’ industrial action, and visit those union picket lines when strikes occur. Also to push for the Party to commit to guarantee better, nationally-negotiated and guaranteed terms and conditions for teachers and education workers, reversing academisation and Free Schools and bring all schools into a system of democratic local authority control.