Socialist Educational Association model motion on Ofsted and academies, December 2020

You may wish to shorten this text (cut the first half, and go straight to the “business” bit in the second half, “endorses the policies of the 2019…”), and add a clause about abolishing GCSE.

This CLP reaffirms its support for a National Education Service as outlined in the Labour Party’s 2017 and 2019 manifestos and the Labour Party’s 2019 Conference composite motion on schools which was carried unanimously. This recognised that

  • the principles of democracy and accountability are directly opposed to the process of school privatisation represented by the spread of academies and free schools under the Tories.
  • there has been a mounting series of failings, scandals and collapses of academy schools, Trusts and Multi Academy Trusts including examples of profiteering with lucrative contracts handed to family and friends and many private companies providing services to schools that could be better provided in house.
  • objectives such as the broadening of the curriculum, closing the attainment gap and enhancing the community role of schools cannot be met while, for example,
  • academies are not required to follow the National Curriculum,
  • many schools controlling their own admissions discriminate against SEND and other disadvantaged pupils and
  • schools are controlled by remote academy chains which have no accountability to local communities.

This CLP therefore rejects the view that Labour’s ambitions for education can be achieved without significant structural change and endorses the policies of the 2019 Conference and the 2019 Manifesto that a Labour Government will

  • stop all academisations and the opening of academies and free schools

and ensure that

  • all schools are taken back under local democratic control
  • Local Authorities establish reformed, democratically accountable local education committees with stakeholder representation
  • all publicly funded schools are brought back under the control of these new local education committees
  • the newly empowered local education committees will be the default providers of services and will be appropriately funded.

Accordingly, this CLP is disappointed that in interviews and speeches the Shadow Education Team appears to have abandoned these commitments and Labour’s commitment to replace Ofsted and transfer responsibility for inspections to a new body designed to drive school improvement, without any consultation with the Party and its members.

We call on the Shadow Frontbench to support and campaign on the policies and commitments agreed unanimously by the 2019 Party Conference.

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