Defend Public Education Conference

Saturday 10 March 2012 - University of London Union, Malet Street

Defend Public Education Conference - Delegate
Defend Public Education Conference - Panel #1
Defend Public Education Conference - Panel #2
Defend Public Education Conference - Speakers #1
Defend Public Education Conference - Speakers #3
Defend Public Education Conference - Speakers #4
Defend Public Education Conference - Speakers #5
Defend Public Education Conference - Speakers #6
Defend Public Education Conference - Summing Up
Defend Public Education Conference - Audience

On 10 March the union's education committee held a very successful conference on the defence of public education. About 90 members, together with colleagues from other unions and organisations, attended to discuss the attack on public education and our response.

The contributions from the different sectors of education represented at the conference brought out the threat posed by current policies to the concept of education as a public service open to all. A number of speakers contrasted the political and public reaction to threats to the National Health Service with the reaction to policies like academies, free schools and tuition fees.

How do we revive an understanding of and belief in the right of access to all to a free, publicly-funded high quality education service? There was an interesting debate about such issues as what we mean by "public" in this context and how we might challenge the government's notion of education for employability without falling into the trap of appearing to undervalue vocational education.

One suggestion is to try to draw up a set of principles that could form the basis for a broad alliance of organisations committed to the defence of public education. This and other ideas from the conference will be posted on this page shortly. It will be important to maintain the momentum from the conference and to widen the debate as much as possible.

To access materials from the conference click on the links below.

Please contact Matt Waddup with comments or queries.

Conference flyer

Defend Public Education Conference Flyer [129kb]

Conference programme

Defend Public Education - Conference Programme [97kb]

The White Paper on Higher Education - Professor John Holmwood, Campaign for the Public University

In Defence of Public Higher Education [828kb]

Campaigning for education: an inspiring example - Action for ESOL Campaign

Action for ESOL Powerpoint Presentation 10-Mar-12 [7Mb]

Action for ESOL Speech 10-Mar-12 [48kb]

Notes of discussion groups: towards a manifesto for public education

Defend Public Education Conference Workshop Briefing [159kb]

Defend Public Education Conference, Workshop 1, Facilitated by Laura Miles [42kb]

Defend Public Education Conference, Workshop 2, Facilitated by Joanna de Groot [37kb]

Defend Public Education Conference, Workshop 3, Facilitated by Alan Whitaker [37kb]

Defend Public Education Conference, Workshop 4, Facilitated by Jane Hardy [37kb]

Defend Public Education Conference, Workshop 5, Facilitated by Richard McEwan [41kb]

Defend Public Education Conference, Workshop 6, Facilitated by Ron Mendel [43kb]

Last updated: 4 August 2016