Further Education

Markets, cuts, and education

Author

Maisie Sanders

The Augar review into post-18 education and funding, commissioned by Theresa May last year, was released on 30 May.

As yet the government says only that it will “take very seriously the report’s proposals”. The report presents its aim as a more “accessible” system of higher and further education that provides “value for money” for both students and taxpayers and is more responsive to labour market demands.

Student left slams democracy shutdown

Author

Maisie Sanders

Student Left Network member and Workers’ Liberty supporter Justine Canady launched her campaign for National Union of Students (NUS) President on Friday 7 December.

She is running as part of the Student Left Network’s campaign of no confidence in current NUS President Shakira Martin. More candidates on the Student Left Network slate will be announced soon.

Martin has given unelected student union CEOs and staff unchecked control over the NUS's response to its financial deficit, a response which will severely curtail democracy and campaigning.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Charlotte Zalens, Ollie Moore, Peggy Carter and David Pendleton

Further Education (FE) college workers are holding a national week of action from 15-19 October. The week of action over FE funding involves the FE lecturers′ union the UCU, plus other unions including Unison, Unite, GMB, NEU, NUS, TUC, and ASCL.

Students call for left unity

Author

Workers' Liberty Students

Around seventy students attended the “We Are the University National Student Left Conference”, hosted by the NCAFC in Sheffield on 16-17 June.

Activists from more than 30 different universities, some representing Labour Clubs and free education groups attended. Many became active through the occupations and other action in support of last term’s UCU strike.
There was a sense of excitement about building on the upsurge of campus organising and using the momentum around it to renew the student movement.

"There is a world beyond the campus" - Vote Sahaya James for NUS President

Author

Sahaya James

Students don’t live in hermetically sealed containers, undisturbed by the oppression and exploitation around the world. Yet too often student unions behave as if they do.

We constantly hear the rhetoric of the “average student” concerned only with the costs of printing and nights out, as if campuses aren’t implicated in the injustices which define our society.

NCAFC Recommits to 2018 NSS Boycott

Author

Ruaridh Anderson

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) held its winter conference in Liverpool last weekend, which saw a lively debate on whether or not to recommit to the 2018 NSS Boycott. After scrutinising the tactic and its potential effectiveness - particularly in relation to the upcoming UCU marking boycott - the conference voted overwhelmingly to continue the boycott into 2018 as part of building a movement of united students and workers against the marketisation of higher education.

Free education now!

Author

By Ruairidh Anderson

As many as 7,000 students marched through London on Wednesday 15 November to demand “Free Education now — tax the rich”.

The protest was organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and supported by Momentum, RMT, Unite, NUS Scotland and student unions across the country. Workers’ Liberty student activists were centrally involved in organising and leading the demonstration, along with other comrades in NCAFC.

Tories seek mandate to increase cuts, inequality, poverty

Author

Martin Thomas

“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.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Sacha Ismail, Peggy Carter, Ollie Moore, Luke Hardy, Graham Korn and Charlotte Zalens

On 21 March cleaning and catering workers employed by multinational corporation Aramark at the South London and Maudsley NHS mental health trust, which has sites across South London, struck for a £10 an hour minimum wage, full sick pay and proper unsocial hours payments.

Industrial news in brief

Author

Peggy Carter, Patrick Murphy, NUT executive, personal capacity, Charlotte Zalens and Ollie Moore

National Union of Teachers members in sixth form colleges will be striking on Tuesday 15 March after a ballot over funding which returned 86% in favour of strikes on a 44% turnout. NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney said: “This strong ballot result shows the strength of feeling amongst sixth-form college teachers. Sixth-form colleges provide a vital service to over 150,000 young people, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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