Home > Commentary, Education Policy, Teaching > What I’d like the Labour Leadership candidates to say on Education

What I’d like the Labour Leadership candidates to say on Education

This post was first published 16th June 2015 on Labour Teachers here

I have just read this post from Duncan Hall (@doktordunc) on Labour Teachers (@labourteachers) outlining what he’d like the Labour Leadership candidates to say on education and I thought I would draft my own wish list on the topic.

Qualified Teacher Status

I’ve written about this before, and it’s still something that I feel is extremely important. Teachers should either be qualified or working towards a qualification. Teacher education gives a good grounding in pedagogy,  ensures a minimum level of subject knowledge and ensures fair payment for the teacher.

Bring back our schools

For too long we’ve seen the dismantling of local authorities and the removal of schooling from state control. Some of the “freedoms” offered are worrying, no need for the national curriculum etc. I am also worried by big academy chains and their motives. I know from experience many small chains are run well,  but as the bigger chains expand I worry about what will happen. I worry about a race to the bottom,  how cheaply can we run this school, and ultimately a switch into a for profit nature of schooling. I’d go further and suggest all schools, including private schools, be brought into local authorities to ensure minimum standards are met and raised and all children received a top quality education.

Vocational Education

For too long we have tried, and failed, to create an educational system that caters for all. Vocational education is something we have repeatedly got wrong. I’d love to see the leadership candidates discussing how we can get it right, make it a real alternative with the same rigour and esteem as it’s academic counterpart. I was intrigued by Tristram Hunt’s comments on this pre election and would have liked to see how they panned out.

Political Education

I do worry about the lack of knowledge some school leavers show about politics and democracy. It’s something that has been looked at before,  but has not improved in recent years. I’d like to see compulsory political education for all, giving a broad overview of the way our democracy runs and the history behind how and why it developed as it did.

Teacher Recruitment

I’d like to see the teacher shortage acknowledged and addressed. Consecutive government’s have thrown money at teacher recruitment but have not really addressed the issues. The first think I’d like to see is an end to “teacher bashing” from the political elite. Some of the criticisms Gove levied at the profession and the insults will have weakened public perception of teachers which is already lower than it should be. I’d like to hear candidates put forward ideas to improve the status as I think that’s the way we can recruit passionate people into the profession and hold onto the ones we’ve got.

  1. July 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Talking Policy and commented:

    Here’s a post I wrote for Labour Teachers outlining what I’d like the Labour Leadership candidates to be saying on Education.

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