Secondary school students around the country have staged protests against restrictive school rules, notably around toilet access and uniform policies. The protests show an urge for students to have a say in how their education is run. This means students having an organised voice that can fight for their interests, while also working together with school staff, who are at the sharp end of attacks on pay and conditions. Socialist Students campaigns for democratic, fighting students’ unions in all schools and colleges, linked up with education trade unions.

Students at universities also need to get organised. The latest rounds of cuts at universities like UEA and Birkbeck are the product of a broken funding model, resulting in living conditions of students and staff reaching historic lows. Socialist Students campaigns for a renewed student movement that can fight for the funding our universities need, linked to the need for socialist change.

If you are a student and you want help organising in your school, college or university, come and discuss at this year’s Socialist Students conference.

School protests: ‘We want to be heard and are ready to take action!’

Alex Matthews Cardiff school student

Toilets in many schools in the UK are now locked during lessons against the wishes of the majority of students, which has sparked protests. Many are also short of toilets, resulting in long queues. In my school, this was a result of the local Labour-controlled council refusing to give schools adequate funds, reflecting wider issues of underfunding in education.

The wishes of students are not being listened to. These protests show that students want to be heard and are ready to take action. This energy could be channelled into well-organised students’ unions to fight for what we need.