ed miliband

Our learning community – the future? Community conference report.

by Martin Straker-Welds

Education is an issue of fundamental importance to our community. The way we educate our children and young people plays a major part in shaping our society. It is easy to see education merely as an instrument of economic advancement; a way of creating the workers of tomorrow who will drive economic growth and oil the wheels of industry and commerce; and of course this is partly true.

However, Labour believes that education is much more than this, particularly in an urban environment.

Education is also about self-betterment, self discovery, the joy of developing knowledge for its own sake, the learning of mental disciplines that make us better rounded human beings, an immersive encounter with our peers in all their diversity. The coalition government, in its headlong rush to reduce the deficit, is also reducing the ambition of education, emphasising the learning of facts and devaluing subjects which seem less economically valuable.

So it is important for Labour, locally and nationally, to develop a distinctive vision of how education can work, to pursue the principles which are at the heart of Labour thinking. Ed Miliband has spoken recently about the promise of Britain: he said he would judge the next Labour government by the quality of the opportunities it could offer the next generation, and that it would be a key test for Labour. It must also be a test for Labour in Birmingham, a city which has a fine educational heritage with some excellent schools, but also some pockets of underachievement with some of the lowest rates of educational attainment in the country. So what sort of education policy will we need in Moseley and Kings Heath, and in Birmingham, to make our society better, and to offer the next generation the opportunities they deserve?

In this context, Moseley and Kings Heath Labour Party called a public meeting to discuss the future of education in our area and our city. The event attracted a broad audience of educationalists, activists of various political persuasions, community members and parents, with a lively discussion stimulated by keynote speaker Tim Brighouse. This report summarises the discussion, and we would welcome your feedback.

Our learning community, the future

Your Voice

by Claire Spencer

As a local Labour member and general human being, I have been really impressed with the series of Party Political Broadcasts in the run-up to the local elections. Ed Miliband and his team have struck a positive note, which demonstrates how Ed’s experiences as a politician are feeding into his leadership of the Labour Party.

But don’t take my word for it – if you have a spare 10 minutes, you can watch them all right here:

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