Schools

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”.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 07/12/2017 - 12:39

A primary school in Sheffield is to become the first to get rid of all its teaching assistants. As part of a cost-cutting restructure, unions claim the school is planning on sacking its nine teaching assistants.

The right to be cool Matthew Mon, 07/03/2017 - 11:21

June 2017 was the hottest June for 176 years. Across Europe temperatures went up to 38°C, and groups of school children and workers defied instructions and wore skirts to school and work to try and keep cool.

School cuts cause school week cuts Matthew Mon, 07/03/2017 - 10:57

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 Matthew Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:56

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 Matthew Wed, 05/03/2017 - 09:22

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.

How to think beyond and survive the exam season Matthew Wed, 05/03/2017 - 08:29

A report on 2 May from the Health and Education Committee of MPs found that government cuts are pushing many schools to scrap or limit mental health help in schools. Daisy Thomas explains why that help is important.

Tories seek mandate to increase cuts, inequality, poverty Matthew Wed, 05/03/2017 - 07:41

“Mrs May”, writes the Tory-leaning columnist of the Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, “could not survive an election campaign saying so little so often if people paid attention”. Since so many don’t, “the repetition of slogans in lieu of answers carries no cost”. Fraser Nelson, another Tory, comments in the Spectator: “She seems to think that, if you refuse to give the press anything, the public won’t care. Worse, she seems to be right – for now, at least”. May’s purpose, so Nelson writes, is not to “seek a mandate”, but to evade one.

Free schools poor value for money Matthew Wed, 05/03/2017 - 06:48

The government’s free schools programme has been condemned as “incoherent and too often poor value for money” by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee.

The committee’s recent report says that the Department for Education is spending “over the odds” on unsuitable sites and building free schools in areas where extra places are not always needed. On the other hand, 60% of state schools are more than forty years old and in need of essential repairs amounting to an estimated £7 billion.