Children

Model motions for National Union of Teachers (NEU) conference

Submitted by martin on 24 October, 2017 - 2:25 Author: Workers' Liberty school workers
NUT-NEU

The National Union of Teachers has merged with the ATL to form the National Education Union, but will still have a separate NUT conference on 30 March to 3 April 2018 in Brighton.

Local NUT associations and divisions will be discussing motions for this conference over the next month. They must be submitted by midday on Sunday 3 December.

Below are some texts drafted by Workers' Liberty teachers which members may wish to use or adapt when proposing motions.

NZ schools go gender-neutral

Submitted by Matthew on 11 October, 2017 - 10:05 Author: Colin Foster

New Zealand’s secondary school teachers’ union has called on all schools to offer gender-neutral uniform, toilet and changing-room options. All students should be able to “choose from a range of shorts, trousers, skirts of different lengths and styles, with both tailored and non-tailored interchangeable shirts... access to specific uniform items [should not be] not limited on the basis of biological sex or perceived gender identity”.

Against Borders for Children

Submitted by AWL on 18 January, 2017 - 11:46 Author: Joe Booth

On 14 January, I went with another member of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty to the Against Borders for Children (ABC) conference. The event was about fighting for refugee children, and was organised by ABC, a group that allies with teachers and students to fight for refugee children who are being spied on or even arrested by the government.

UK school system bad for children

Submitted by AWL on 9 December, 2016 - 10:11

The Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA) rankings were published on 6 December. These put UK schools in the 20s among the 72 countries surveyed.

Socialists don′t put great store by the PISA ratings, which measure different nations academic achievements by testing 15 and 16 year olds in maths, science and reading. However, the UK’s poor results do demonstrate that, even by their own standards, the Tories model for education is failing.

Football abuse: overturning a culture of silence

Submitted by Matthew on 30 November, 2016 - 11:40 Author: Gerry Bates

More than 20 ex-football players have come forward with reports they were sexually abused as children by coaches. The revelations have sparked an investigation by five police forces, as well as an internal investigation by the Football Association. An NSPCC hotline has already received over 100 calls.

What "balancing the budget" means

Submitted by martin on 21 June, 2016 - 5:33 Author: Martin Thomas

"Crikey, had a great 'win' last week which sent some parents into a storm", boasted Mark Small on Twitter in mid-June.

His firm is a contractor which is paid by local councils to fight parents' claims to get Special Educational Needs provision for their children. As the Guardian puts it, "its success rests on its ability to help cash-strapped local authorities cut the costs of SEN provision".

It also sells training to council officials to help them minimise SEN provision.

A failed attempt to silence

Submitted by Matthew on 11 May, 2016 - 12:48 Author: Martin Thomas

On Wednesday 4 May the government sacked Natasha Devon from her unpaid post as mental health champion for schools. Evidently it concluded that the parents protest the day before against excessive testing, when thousands kept Year 2 children off school, showed that Devon was having too much effect.

Mental health shortfall worsens

Submitted by Matthew on 4 February, 2016 - 9:29 Author: Colin Foster

Waiting lists in the NHS are increasing for physical illnesses. But at least they are monitored, and the government feels pressure to reduce them.

According to a new report from the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), one child in five of those referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is denied service. For those who get it, the wait for an assessment appointment averages two months across the country, more than 26 weeks in some areas, and “years not months” in others.

Capitalism vs human life

Submitted by AWL on 27 January, 2016 - 11:34 Author: Martin Thomas

Capitalism has created life-enhancing possibilities. It has even realised some of them. My older daughter has epilepsy. In pre-capitalist times, if she’d had medication at all, it would have had no, or harmful, effects, and the seizures would probably have become more severe until they disabled and killed her. Today, she has been able to end the seizures with just a few pills, without side-effects.