Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/424/4970

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2006

What we think

Education white paper:

Blair's 'high wire act' - heading for a fall?

SO FAR nearly one hundred Labour MP's are opposing the Schools White Paper backed by Blair revealing a Prime Minister who is well past his sell-by-date. Guardian journalist Seumas Milne correctly described recent events as "the end game of the Blair era."

Under the bill (due to go to Parliament next month) all schools will be encouraged to become self-governing trusts, sponsored by industry, faith groups and charities. They would control their own admissions.

Two main issues are being cited for the rebellion - that these proposals would increase social segregation while Local Education Authorities (LEAs) would no longer be responsible for admissions. The bill would open up our schools to more privatisation with big business and faith groups running schools, unaccountable to any elected bodies.

Trust schools will seek to select pupils whose needs can be met more easily and who are most likely to boost their status and position in school league tables. Neighbouring schools would be plunged further into difficulties as they lose pupils and the funding that comes with them.

A report by an education charity which had been suppressed by the government concluded that if these proposals are implemented more children from the poorest families will be excluded from top state schools.

Blair has expressed his determination to force the bill through, but he is faced with real problems on how to proceed. He could rely on Tory votes but this could spell the end of Blair. Or he could refuse to make any changes and risk the bill being defeated which would severely diminish his authority. If Blair gives concessions to his opponents this will also weaken him.

Increasing problems

But Blair has had a spate of recent problems including the curbing of the internment without trial bill and the Lords voting down compulsory ID cards. Problems around Iraq are also never far away. Having stated that Britain was definitely not involved in 'rendition' flights (flying prisoners to other countries to be tortured) Jack Straw now admits that there may have been requests from the US for use of UK territory or airspace.

The government has been forced to give a figure of the number of British soldiers injured in Iraq as Defence Secretary. John Reid admitted that there have been thousands of casualties, with some of them taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence.

Blair's problems are set to increase both inside, and more importantly, outside parliament. Strike action is looming by local government workers, fire-fighters and other workers in defence of their pensions. NHS protests are spreading around the country.

Some will interpret this rebellion of Labour MPs as the beginning of opposition to neo-liberal policies and the possibility of the party shifting away from the right. It is true that the growing opposition to privatisation and deteriorating public services in society is being reflected to some degree within parliament.

Yet many of the 'rebels' within the Labour Party, such as Neil Kinnock and Estelle Morris, are firmly in the neo-liberal camp. And rebel MPs are likely to accept the Schools Bill with some concessions; knowing this will still lead to more privatisation in education. Even if, as is to be hoped, the bill is scuppered completely, it would not alter the overall trend of the government to destroy public services.

Whatever happens to the bill it will bring Blair's demise closer. Although a new leader could create illusions that the Labour Party might change this would be short-lived. Brown has made it clear that under his leadership the neo-liberal agenda would continue and he is backing Blair on the Schools Bill. Other contenders for the leadership would also support the neo-liberal interests of big business.

All three main parties share the same agenda resulting in more people having no party to vote for. Working-class people who are opposed to privatisation and want business to stay out of our schools and other public services have no political representation. Our campaign for a new mass party of the working class is more urgent than ever.


Liverpool

Parents resist special needs school closures

ON 19 January, 50 angry parents of children with special needs, children and supporters demonstrated outside Liverpool's city council offices. The council was meeting to close three special schools this year and force the children into mainstream education. It wants 360 special needs school places and another 56 resourced places to go by 2014.

Rachelann Flinn

The government's own Audit Commission recognises that "one child in 30 needs more support than their school can provide". However, parents are losing the right to choose what's best for their children. Children with the severest disabilities won't have their basic educational needs met and parents have been offered no part in the decision-making process.

The main problems were caused by a council blunder resulting in a shortfall of 250,000 in the Special Schools budget. The schools must find the 250,000 themselves.

If Liverpool council closes all special schools, children will then have to attend mainstream schools. But most mainstream schools are simply not equipped, nor staffed, to provide for all special needs children, such as those with autism, who could find the experience of mainstream traumatic, resulting in some children having no education at all.

Every child deserves to be educated in the way that suits them best. It's time to stop New Labour's destruction of the education system and put the focus on the children at its heart and not simply on saving money.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 26 January 2006:

Striking to save jobs & services

Fight cuts and closures

United action planned

City greed hits workers' pensions

PCS youth conference success

'Crisis in working class political representation'

Time for a new mass workers' party

A socialist world is necessary

An antidote to cuts, lies and corruption

Morales' presidential victory - a new phase in the class struggle

Chile: First woman president elected

Venezuela: Nurses protest in Caracas

Blair's 'high wire act' - heading for a fall?

Lincoln fights to defend council housing

Homophobia isn't the exclusive preserve of any religion

Scaring children into believing in Jesus


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 January 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Education:

triangleBrighton victory

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

Schools:

triangleOpposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields

triangleTeachers, students and parents demand an end to the schools funding crisis

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Children:

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

triangleNewham anti-academies strikes

triangleThem & Us

Labour:

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleBlairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/12/17

Labour

Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

13/12/17

Brexit

Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

13/12/17

Housing

Two in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

13/12/17

NHS

Save our NHS

13/12/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

13/12/17

Fees

Uni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

13/12/17

Retail

Retail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

8/12/17

Government

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

6/12/17

Labour

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

6/12/17

NHS

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

6/12/17

Immigration

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

6/12/17

Banks

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

6/12/17

Homelessness

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

6/12/17

Poverty

End Tory war on poor

6/12/17

Rail

Nationalise rail now

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2