The recent publication of the education White Paper has lifted the lid on government plans for education. The plans concealed from us before the election are now menacingly clear. We have had enough! We want our children to enjoy and love learning. So we want to rescue our schools from the grip of a series of policies which have affected every aspect of education, from testing to funding, from nurseries to post-16. We also want an end to privatisation and austerity in schools.
Our schools don’t belong to the government. And our schools don’t belong to the trusts, charities and academy chains. They belong to our children, to the community, to the parents, to the teachers and support staff and to future generations. We recognise government has an important role but it cannot impose its vision on our children without our consent.
Therefore we are launching a ‘Parents Defending Education’ campaign today in order to reassert the rights of parents and engage in the debate about what sort of education we want for our children. None of the plans outlined in the White Paper were put to the electorate at the last election. The government has no mandate. Accordingly we intend to campaign to defeat the White Paper and other key aspects of the government’s education policy. Parents need to stand up for education, stand up for themselves and stand up for our children.
Initially we have five main points:
- No forced academies – no privatisation
- No more ‘high stakes’ testing – take the pressure off our children
- No more cuts – don’t impose austerity on our children
- Ensure a good school place for every child – with a properly qualified teacher
- Defend parents’ democratic rights in schools and at local government level
We know there are other very important and connected issues, such
as the impact on children with Special Educational Needs and from economically & socially disadvantaged families. We will work with parents to develop a response to these areas of concern.
We intend to create a delegate based steering committee which will help us unite and focus our campaigning work together to maximise its impact across the country. We also intend to broaden the basis of our campaign as quickly and widely as possible. We want to work with all groups and organisations who share similar objectives. We will also discuss plans for a national campaign conference for parents and the possibility of a national demonstration.
We are delighted to announce that children’s author, Professor of Children’s Literature and parent Michael Rosen has agreed to be our first patron. We urge parents in every school, in every village, in every town and in every city to meet, discuss, and get organised in the next 4 weeks. We will provide resources to support this as quickly as possible via our Facebook page.
For further information about this statement and to register for the steering committee on 21st May please email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: Parents Defending Education. If you can help, please contact us.