Education Fighback: Day of Action, Friday, 26 Feb

Our right to education is under attack. The government’s plans – for universities, schools and colleges – have to be fought. That’s why Socialist Students has taken the initiative of launching Education Fightback, with a day of action taking place on 26 February. Join us and get involved.

In universities the government’s HE ‘Green paper’ threatens:

Massive fee hikes – similar to what happened in 2010. If this bill goes through ministers will be able to sign off huge fee rises without even a vote in parliament.

A narrower, more conservative curriculum – the so-called Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) the government wants to bring in threatens to force universities to further prioritise the needs of the market when devising courses and to curtail academic freedom

More marketisation – Universities that score highly on TEF will be able to immediately increase fees in line with inflation – paving the way for a two tier system

Privatisation – The HE bill will open up the sector to new private providers

Attacks on the right to organise – students unions are facing attacks on their ability to campaign and organise

In schools the government is planning:

Huge cuts to funding ranging from 2.3% cuts to more than 20% depending where you are in the country. Inner city areas will be hit especially hard

Teachers and Teaching Assistants (TAs) sacked There will be huge numbers of teachers and TAs sacked if this goes ahead. In Hackney – one of the worst hit areas – this will result in 30% of teachers and 95% of teaching assistants losing their jobs!

Bigger class sizes Class sizes will get even bigger – even though many are already at bursting point. Students will have less support and individual help.

A narrower curriculum – The pressure these cuts will put on schools will inevitably lead to them being forced to reduce the number of subjects they can provide. Some sixth-forms are already saying they will have to stop allowing students to study As levels. Art, music and other creative subjects are already being sidelined.

Exam factories – with all the added strain on teachers and schools the pressure to ‘teach to the test’ will become even more overwhelming.

More stress and health problems for school students and their teachers – school students are already put under huge pressure with exams. The ‘exam factory’ schools model that these cuts will further encourage will ramp up the stress levels of pupils and leave even more struggling with mental health problems.

Mergers and closures these could be on the agenda if these cuts go ahead

In FE colleges

Cuts upon cuts – FE has already suffered massively – with huge cuts in the last parliament, and now there is more on the way

24% slashed from adult education Making it harder for people to get the skills they need

Colleges facing insolvency, closure and mergers due to the devastating levels of cutbacks

Education Fightback is organising to demand

Stop all cuts – defend our schools, colleges and universities

Free education – from nursery to university – stops the HE paper and the fee hikes that will follow it

Scrap the HE paper – Fight marketization and privatisation in education Living grants – for all college and university students Publicly owned and democratically run schools colleges and universities

End Austerity – fight for the socialist alternative to cuts, fees and privatisation

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