Schools

Secondary schooling and the new futures for education

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Lisa Tunnell draws out the lessons from the pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the faults and inequalities of the system we live under. This is as true of the education systems as in other areas of life. Many educational issues have been exposed, such as the unequal access to distance learning, the poor provision of Free School Meals and the push for an unsafe wider reopening of schools. However, the pandemic has also shown the importance of schools, not just as places of learning, but as hubs of the community.

Teaching the Tories a Lesson

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Socialist Review spoke to activists about organising under lockdown

In late May and early June, without a ballot or picket lines, education workers inflicted a serious defeat on the government. A wave of discussion and collective organising by tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of teachers and school staff took place across England’s 17,000 primary schools and nurseries. It culminated in knocking back the Tories’ plans to reopen schools more widely on 1 June — and it saved lives.

In the engine room

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In his short, fascinating and hugely influential book Capitalist Realism, Mark Fisher talks, amongst a great many other things, about education. He says, “Education, far from being in some ivory tower safely inured from the ‘real world’, is the engine room of the reproduction of social reality, directly confronting the inconsistencies of the capitalist social field.”

Schools Out!

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When I was 14 I managed my first, rather comic act of political rebellion. Partly inspired by Ken Loach’s film Cathy Come Home, I chalked “Long live the proletariat” on the blackboard at Crewe Boys’ Grammar. Our RE teacher, the Reverend Geddes, wandered in, inspected it and, humiliatingly, corrected my spelling before getting on with the lesson.

Schools Out! tells an altogether more inspiring tale of rebellion, politics and youthful fire.

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