Rushcliffe Open CLP Political Education 15 November 2021
-By Ian Crompton, Political Education Officer
This timely and popular political educational event took place recently. Education was highlighted as a core element of the Labour Party’s strategy for electoral success at this year’s annual conference, along with an arguably restricted view of class around winning back ‘red wall’ seats. It was these interventions that underpinned the reason for the event.
Nick Stevenson and Sharon Clancy opened the discussion. Nick is a member of Rushcliffe Labour Party and a Reader in Cultural Sociology at the University of Nottingham. Sharon is a member of the Mansfield Labour Party and Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Nottingham and Chair of the Raymond Williams Foundation. What may sound a rather academic framing was anything but, with thought provoking and stimulating opening comments leading to a lively and enjoyable conversation.
The commitment to openness, inclusive and considered discussion permeated the 20 plus thoughtful comments from the floor, including an equal gender balance of those who contributed.
Areas of discussion included how we understand class and its inevitable re-emergence at the core of our politics for social justice.
The relationship between class and education, particularly the limited focus of current educational policy was addressed. Including what was considered by many to be an unhelpful pre-occupation with the illusion of meritocratic fairness and purpose whilst reducing education to narrow occupational outcomes and league tables. This, it was highlighted by a range of contributions, leads to the degradation of the educational experience for many pupils, students and teachers.
The urgent need for the Labour Party to develop a new ethical vision of education and its human purpose was identified, including the joy of learning, as the overwhelming consensus of our discussions and the challenge on which the evening concluded.
If you would like to follow up on the areas discussed the links below might be of interest:
What Next for Political Education:
Please let me know of any subjects you would be interested in or can help with.
Future possible educational events currently under consideration include:
- The War on Drugs – is Labour on a trip?
- Generation Left
- Feminising Municipalism
- ‘Levelling up’ – A New Conservatism?
- Sex Work – Is Labour in the Debate?
- Is the Co-operators Movement (and it’s ideas) still relevant?
In addition to this I am also interested in whether there is any interest in an on line reading group exploring the History of the Labour Party?