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Reclaiming Education  
A Gallant Rear-Guard Action

Educational experts were surprised by the swift action of Michael Gove, a relatively unknown figure at the time, in advancing the 2010 Education Act through Parliament. Gove's approach diverged significantly from his predecessors, blending iconoclasm, spin, and elements of radicalism. This was influenced by his background in journalism and his understanding of how previous administrations had compromised state education.

Gove recognized that many liberal and left-leaning commentators, while advocating for state education in principle, often did not personally prioritize it for their own families. He cleverly framed his agenda, which aimed to diminish the role of local authorities in education, as a means of "improving schools."

While the concept of academies had been introduced under Blair to replace failing local authority schools, Gove escalated this initiative, gradually favoring Multi-academy Trusts as the predominant model.

In response, the Campaign for State Education collaborated with other education advocacy groups to oppose Gove's policies, culminating in public statements and conferences criticizing the perceived privatization of education and the lack of local accountability.

Despite some positive developments, such as Labour's promise of a National Education Service in their 2017 manifesto, RecEd continued to push for more detailed proposals and engagement from policymakers, with limited success.

Efforts to engage with Labour through proposals for education reform went unanswered, reflecting ongoing challenges in achieving meaningful dialogue and change in the education sector.

This joint statement was delivered at Canterbury House. It addresses the privatization of schools. It outlines several concerns about the ongoing trend towards privatizing education through the establishment of academies and free schools.

School Notebook

Leaflet for Caught in the Act Education Conference - November 2011

Michael Gove's new Education Act gives the Secretary of State some 50 new powers. What is the agenda behind this shift of power to the centre? What is the role of profit in these plans? How can education be defended? Join the workshops that will be led by our guest speakers to discuss the way forward. Speakers: Clyde Chitty & Melissa Benn - A Divided Education System; David Wolfe (Matrix Chambers) - Implications of the new Education Act; Stephen Ball (Institute of Education) - Privatisation; Martin Johnson (ATL) - Edubusiness; Sam Ellis (ASCL) - Paying the Price; Christine Blower (NUT) - The International Scene; Patrick Roach (NASUWT) - What Next? 10am - 3.30pm Saturday 19th November 2011 University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY For more details go to

School Backpack

This text highlights systemic issues within the English school system and offers comprehensive strategies to address them and improve educational outcomes.

School Supply

This document represents the first updating of ‘A Better Future for Our Schools’ published in June 2013. Based on the responses given at the Reclaiming Education Conference on 16th November 2013, it further develops the first three of the ten original themes.

School Supplies

The text outlines the "Reclaiming Education Bill 2015" proposed by the Reclaiming Education Alliance, focusing on key principles to reform the education system. These principles include broadening the National Curriculum to promote emotional well-being, ending selection by ability or aptitude, preventing schools from manipulating admissions, ensuring equality for all students, establishing fair funding, promoting cooperation between schools, supportive inspections, qualified teachers, and inclusive education. The bill aims to restore democratic accountability, fairness, and quality in education. It emphasizes the importance of consensus, cooperation, and equality in shaping education policies.

School Supply

Leaflet outlining core mission statement of the Reclaiming Education Alliance.

School Desk

This document outlines multiple critiques levelled at the English education system.

School Supplies

The document outlines the concept and implementation of a National Education Service (NES) proposed by the Labour Party in its 2017 General Election Manifesto. It compares the NES to the National Health Service (NHS), aiming to provide fully inclusive education to all citizens according to their needs. The NES would encompass various educational institutions and services while devolving responsibilities to local bodies where appropriate. Key entitlements would include access to early years education, a diverse range of subjects, support for learning, and lifelong learning opportunities. The document emphasizes collaboration over competition in education, the need to avoid bureaucratic tendencies, and the importance of maintaining and improving quality. It advocates for local accountability, championing the needs of children and parents, and addressing issues such as early years provision, academic selection, and curriculum development. The proposed reforms aim to ensure fairness, urgency, and continuous improvement in the education system.

Back to School

In its 2017 General Election Manifesto, The Labour Party promised to create a National Education Service (NES). The Reclaiming Education Alliance strongly supported this and now offers the following suggestions as to how it can be made a reality.

Back to School
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