Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Launching our draft Charter for Education in Waltham Forest

Our Community, Our Schools is a parent-led campaign, set up to defend our community schools against attempts to set up Free Schools and to convert our community schools to academies. But we weren’t defending community schools for the sake of it.

We believe that our community schools are a historic achievement. It was not so very long ago that the idea that everyone was entitled to a common, shared education, regardless of their background and their wealth, was considered dangerous and radical.

However, successive governments have failed to support our community schools and now the Coalition government actively attacks them at every turn. Whoever forms the next government will inherit a fragmented, divided and partially privatised school system. They will need to work hard to restore parents’ faith and teachers’ confidence.

Yet in spite of the attacks on them, our schools continue to perform heroically. And in spite of the fear-mongering, people continue to believe in the ideas that motivated the great education reforms of the past because they are basic, common-sense, powerful and democratic ideas.

Every great advance in education was won by people standing up to fight for it. We believe that it’s time to start uniting people and campaigning positively around a vision of education. It’s time to start a debate and a discussion in our communities about the kind of education system and the kind of schools we want.

That’s why we have launched our draft Charter for education in Waltham Forest.

This is not a finished document. It’s a starting point for a wide-ranging discussion in our community and we want that discussion to take many different forms. We will be proposing meetings, articles, discussion, and opening up the document to you to comment on and discuss online.

But what we want to do is play our part in building a local movement that can be a powerful force in the community, helping all our schools to meet the highest standards we should expect and that can help build pressure on local and national policy-makers and decision-makers to listen to us. 

We want to know what you think, so please join the discussion.

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