Defend Education in Lewisham believe that education should be a right for all, not a priviledge for some. To ensure that every child has the chance to reach their potential, every local school must be a good school. Only when we begin to challenge the inequality that exists within and between schools can we hope to achieve this goal. Below is an Education Charter – a statement that outlines what we think are the key issues that local and national government needs to address. We hope this Charter will stimulate discussion and debate and welcome comments about how we can take the campaign for a decent education for all forward.
- Education is a right not a privilege. Every school should be a comprehensive school. Abolish all private education.
- Education should be free for all – every one should have the right to access high quality education, regardless of their income or status.
- Schools, colleges and universities should be run in the interests of the public – publicly owned and funded and democratically accountable. No to PFI, Academies and Trusts and the BSF programme of privatisation of school buildings. Stop the selling off of our schools to big business and unaccountable organisations.
- Schools should be comprehensive and secular – open to all students, regardless of ability, gender, ethnicity or religious beliefs. No to grammar schools, faith schools and other types of schools that exclude children.
- Students with special needs should receive specialist education – fully resourced and supported according to the needs of each child. Defend special school provision.
- Democratically elected bodies made up of education workers, students, parents and the local community should run schools and other educational institutions. Let teachers, parents, students and the local community have a say in what and how we learn.
- The curriculum should reflect the diversity of human creativity and all children should have access to a range of knowledge and skills. Our aim is to develop confident, autonomous and critically minded individuals, not to distort a child’s education to fit in with the narrow limits imposed by the needs of business. Students, teachers and the wider community should be involved in the development of curriculum.
- Teachers and support staff should receive ongoing education and training so that they can support learners to the best of their abilities.
- End the regime of endless testing. Assessment should be used to support the student’s learning.
- Learning is for life and educational provision should reflect this. Fund free adult education for all. Scrap fees for education and training.