Over 250 people packed into st Paul’s church in Hammersmith. The audience were made up of teachers, governors and parents.
There was a huge range of questions including ‘what is the value of Ofsted, Why are there so many faith schools, what single thing would panel recommend to improve education? One questioner asked if the Labour Party would offer a different vision.
The panel, which consisted of author Michael Rosen, Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, and Julian Bell, the leader of Ealing council. It was chaired by Adrian Chiles. Christine commented that Finland had a succesful model and had no Ofsted. She talked abut the spread of this infection across the globe, known as GERM and talked about returning schools to an accountable local authority with connections to the local community.
Michael Rosen talked passionately about reading and children’s enjoyment of learning and this is being crushed by a testing regime.
Julian Bell talked of how he was sickened by the cuts to budgets and tried to persuade schools to remain with the local authority.
The meeting touched on the importance of establishing a national campaign to fight for an education of ‘equity, equality and quality’.
A speaker from the Save our Sulivan campaign ended the meeting talking about the disgraceful decision of the council in Hammersmith to close the primary and hand it to a Free school. He made a plea for everyone to get involved in local campaigns.
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