School and college activists were at the heart of big student movement in 2010-11, and many of us have gone on to be active at university, but it has not been easy for students in schools and FE to keep organised. We’re setting up a national network to help more students get active in their schools and colleges, and involved in political discussion and campaigning, and to allow us to coordinate and keep in touch.
And we really need to. With the abolition of EMA, attacks on Adult Learning, erosion of ESOL courses, manipulation of GCSE results, academies, Free Schools, the European Baccalaureate’s downgrading of arts subjects, cuts to college funding and an assault on the pay, conditions and pensions of staff – students and workers in schools and Further Education are at sharp edge of the Tories’ attacks.
We are organising discussions to develop NCAFC – Schools and College‘s plans in more detail, but they include:
● Helping activists set up activist/discussion groups in their schools and colleges, and pushing for the right to organise and be political at school/college;
● Getting more FE and school students involved in activism generally, both on student issues and wider issues like the NHS;
● Campaigning against cuts and privatisation in schools and in FE;
● Campaigning for decent support for all students – a living grant/maintenance allowance;
● Campaigning on other issues like the cost of transport, provision of and cost of materials, and disciplinary/attendance policies;
● Fighting for a real living wage and decent rights at work for all, including apprentices;
● Solidarity with teachers, lecturers and other staff campaigning to defend their pay and conditions and rights;
● Fighting for NUS to actually stand up for and organise school and FE students, as it doesn’t so much at present.
We’re planning to hold three activists’ get togethers (in London, Sheffield and Scotland) later this term – watch this space for more details.
If you would like to get involved, need help with setting up a group or some other problem in your college or school, or just to find out more get in touch or tell us what you’re up to: you can ring us on 07810 632 653 or email [email protected].
The two NCAFC national committee members responsible for FE are Roshni Joshi (South Downs Colleges and NUS executive) and Rosie Huzzard (Sheffield College).
We also have a Facebook group – see here. Please feel free to post your reports, ideas and questions on the group too.