Schools

Scrap GCSE. Reform assessment in schools

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2017 - 10:56 Author: Patrick Yarker

This summer students in England sat the new-style “closed book” English Literature GCSE exam. This exam prohibits candidates from having the set texts with them to refer to. They cannot look in the book for material to illustrate, support and develop their thinking.

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”.

School cuts cause school week cuts

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2017 - 10:57 Author: Gerry Bates

A number of UK schools have decided to shorten the school week to deal with budget crises. A primary school in Leicestershire is the latest to announce it will end the school week on Friday lunchtime. A Essex secondary school has decided students will get an hour less teaching a week and is considering cutting back subject time for PE and PSHE. Instead of squeezing top pay, schools are cutting the number of staff.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 24 May, 2017 - 12:56 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Cinema workers at East Dulwich Picturehouse in south London will strike on Saturday 27 May to coincide with the opening of the new Pirates of the Caribbean film. Workers at the other cinemas involved in the dispute have just voted for further strikes, and will be on strike on 3-4 June to coincide with the Sundance Film Festival, which Picturehouse hosts.

Labour: rebuild the welfare state

Submitted by Matthew on 24 May, 2017 - 11:53 Author: Gemma Short

The welfare state created by the 1945 Labour government was a little bit of the “political economy of the working class” carved out of a still capitalist economy (a phrase Karl Marx first used to describe the victory of the fight for a ten-hour working day).

To some extent the ruling class has been forced to accept a minimal level of state provision. There is a constant battle over what proportion of profits is redirected, over who should receive support, and what sort of support is given. The ruling class has been winning that battle for some time.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 3 May, 2017 - 9:22 Author: Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

RMT members on Northern rail struck again on 28 April. The strike was every bit as solid as the previous two days’ action, reducing the company’s service to 40% of its usual level, with scab labour being provided by managers.

The union is yet to announce its next move. It will need to think carefully about what to do next, taking into account the various different situations at different Train Operating Companies around the country.