We made sure Rescue Our Schools was at one of the very first roadshows organised by the Labour Party to discuss its proposed National Education Service. The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, gave an opening address.
She made it clear she was open to all fresh ideas on how to guarantee free, life long opportunities to all. One of the key issues to emerge from the discussions – attended by both young and old – was the pernicious effect of high stakes testing in both primary and secondary. Another key concern from the students in the room was the unfairness of student loans and the divisive effects of new university accountability measures which urge students to judge their lecturers.
It was felt that the draft principles of the NES needed to be broadened to embrace the importance of not just knowledge but skills. There were also calls for education to be valued as a vehicle for equality and inclusion.
We would urge anyone who has the roadshow coming their way to get involved.