SEA motion on Schools Succeeds in Labour Party conference ballot
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The SEA motion on this year's GCSE English debacle and the announcement by Michael Gove of his examination 'review' was one of six successful topics for discussion at this year's Labour Party conference. After a traditional 'compositing' meeting on the first evening of conference, it was agreed that the resulting motion would be proposed by SEA General Secretary Martin Dore and seconded by Orpington CLP. You can view the speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXFMmJKL7Vs
The motion carried is as follows:
'This conference condemns the chaos surrounding the ‘public consultation’ announced by Michael Gove on 17th September on changes to GCSE examinations. As Stephen Twigg has commented, ‘This risks a return to a two-tier system which left thousands of children on the scrap heap at the age of 16. Schools do need to change as all children stay on in education to 18 and we face up to the challenges of the 21st Century.
Conference believes we won't achieve that with a return to the 1950s. Instead, we need a system that promotes rigour and breadth, and prepares young people for the challenges of the modern economy. There is a place for coursework, proper vocational qualifications and a broad curriculum for all our children. This is the time for a genuine review not a pre-determined outcome, reflecting the prejudices of a man living in an educational time warp.
Conference notes the Prime Minister’s conflicting demands made on 7 August 2012 during the Olympic Games for more compulsory sport for children despite having imposed massive cuts on such provision and having encouraged academies and free schools to opt out of national requirements.
Conference further condemns the disarray surrounding the GCSE English results published on 23 August and the disingenuous denials of the Secretary of State for Education that he has any responsibility.
Conference opposes the highly contentious and partisan decision announced by Michael Gove on 17 September to abandon the GCSE and replace it with the ‘English Bacc’ without regard to a huge body of professional opinion and the interests of over a million children about to embark upon GCSE courses.
Conference calls on the Government to introduce a real review of Key Stage 4 exam qualifications so that evidence-based, equitable and rigorous forms of assessment can be developed that reflect a good education for all our young people.
Conference reasserts its belief in a democratically accountable education system in which policy is developed in an open and transparent way involving genuine consultation for this vital public service and which has at its heart the core objective of all children achieving their maximum potential.'
After a debate on the last day of conference the motion was carried unanimously.