Another #NottsVoiceEd Report

Here is another blog from someone who attended the ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education’ event on Saturday.

As the organiser I think Beth makes some really excellent points.  If any emerging campaign is going to develop into a broad coalition for change then it seems to me we have to find ways to address many of the points Beth raises.

Read Beth’s blog here:

https://impressionthatiget.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/nottingham-shire-a-voice-for-education/

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After #NottsVoiceEd – what’s next?

This email sent to all those who registered for ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education.’

I am writing to you as someone who registered for Saturday’s ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education’ event at the University.

Nearly 60 people were able to attend on Saturday representing a range of education sectors – schools, further, higher and adult education.

I am grateful to those who presented at workshops and helped stimulate considerable discussion.

Hilary Wainwright, in her keynote address, encouraged us to think how we both challenge what we are against and advocate positively for what we are for. Several of the workshops illustrated practically how people are already doing this in different contexts. Saturday was an important opportunity to share the learning from those experiences. Key themes of the day were how we need to make connections and develop broad coalitions.

If you attended on Saturday – thank you for your attendance and your contribution. Thank you too for your patience and flexibility. There were, even by the standards of such occasions, some significant ‘unforeseen events’. Your understanding was much appreciated.

What happens next?

On Saturday a proposal was tabled to set up a ‘Nottingham Campaign for Education’ (NCE) – that proposal is available here – https://nottsvoiceed.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/proposal-a-nottingham-campaign-for-education/

A number of people offered to help support the setting up of such a group. This is not intended to replicate any other group but rather one of its distinctive features will be to work across sectors, and to draw together existing groups focused on specific sectors or issues.

It will clearly take a while to clarify the aims and organisational structure of such a group. In the meantime, it will exist as an informal network and if you wish to be kept informed of developments, and to contribute to its discussions, please email me at howard.stevenson@nottingham.ac.uk.

One very practical suggestion for action was that there should be a submission to the consultation, currently underway, on a 10 year plan for Nottingham City schools. That submission would be in the name of NCE. Details of the plan, and the consultation process, are here – https://nottsvoiceed.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/school-education-in-nottingham-what-do-you-think/

The deadline for this consultation is the end of the month. The whole consultation period is barely a month. There are a group of people willing to develop a submission – if you email to be part of the NCE mailing list you will automatically be included in discussions about the submission, and have a chance to comment on drafts. One of the points the submission is likely to make is that the consultation exercise is woefully inadequate and that a genuine and much more imaginative consultation about the type of education we want in the next 10 years could act as a powerful means to engage with, and mobilise, parent, teacher and community interests.

Thank you again for your support.

Proposal: A ‘Nottingham Campaign for Education’

This is being presented at the ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education’ event on 14th November as a proposal to start discussion. All the content is open to change subject to wider debate.

Purpose:

The Nottingham Campaign for Education (NCE) seeks to promote education as a public good in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County. Education as a public good recognises that social justice and democratic engagement are the core values on which all education provision should be based. The NCE is concerned with all phases of education from early years to lifelong and adult, and education in both formal and informal sectors.

The Nottingham Campaign for Education does not seek to replicate any existing organisation, but rather seeks to bring together a wide range of organisations representing different interests and sectors.

The Campaign believes in education that is . . .

First draft developed from outcomes from 14 November event.

The Campaign stands in opposition to . . .

First draft developed from outcomes from 14 November event.

Membership:

The details of membership to be determined by the Organising Committee (see below).

Organisation:

The Campaign will develop an organisational structure appropriate to its aims and membership, following consultation with individuals and affiliates.

This work will be advanced in the first instance through the establishment of an Organising Committee. This Committee will co-ordinate the initial work of the Campaign, and draw up plans for how the Campaign will be developed, constitutionally and organisationally, on a longer term basis.

Immediate next steps:

  1. That volunteers are invited to join an Organising Committee.
  2. The Organising Committee coordinates a formal response to the EIB’s Strategic Plan consultation [deadline end of November].
  3. The Organising Committee meets to determine a plan to establish the future running of the NCE.

If you cannot attend the event, but have thoughts on the proposal presented here, please use the comments facility to share your thinking.

HE Green Paper: more marketisation . . .

The government has published it’s Green Paper on higher education Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice’.  The title provides all the clues about the content that follows.

There is now a period of consultation – and it may be that people want to discuss this, and how to respond, at the ‘Nottingham-Shire: Voice for Education’ event on Saturday 14th November.

An excellent critique of the Green Paper has already appeared on the Campaign for the Public University website. Follow the link here.

School education in Nottingham: what do you think?

In Nottingham City a body called the Education Improvement Board has been set up to address issues in the City’s education system.

The purpose of the EIB is:

  • “To bring together ideas about how we can provide the best possible education for every child and young person in Nottingham
  • To develop the existing vision for education in our city and create a long-term strategic plan with clear priorities and timelines
  • To promote collaboration”

The above from http://www.nottinghamschools.org/about-eib/

The EIB has produced a ‘Strategic Plan’ called ‘Ambition 2025’. This seeks to create a world class education service in Nottingham in the next 10 years.

The plan can be downloaded here.

During November there is a consultation about the plan – the EIB have set up an online survey. You can respond to the survey here.

At the ‘Nottingham: A Voice for Education’ event on 14 November we will discuss how we might submit a collective response to this consultation. If you cannot be at that event, but wish to contribute to the ‘Voice for Education‘ response – add a comment to this blog.

[The ‘Nottingham: A Voice for Education’ is concerned with all aspects of education in both the City and the County – from Early Years to Adult and Lifelong.  This consultation is obviously focused on schools. This is clearly very important – but it is only one part of what the ‘Voice for Education’ event is concerned with.]

What should public services look like?

The keynote speaker at ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education’ is Hilary Wainwright.

Hilary has extensive experience of working with coalitions of workers and service users to democratise public services.

Listen to her here – http://www.compassonline.org.uk/multimedia/what-should-a-modern-state-and-public-services-be-like-audio-recording/

Hilary wrote a great ‘Think Piece’ for Compass that sets out her ideas – you can download it here – https://howardstevenson.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/wainwright-tp-821.pdf

At the event there Five Leaves bookshop will have a stall and several of Hilary’s titles will be available.

Building coalitions in the community

One of the people whose work has been influential in shaping the thinking behind ‘Nottingham-Shire: A Voice for Education’ has been Amanda Tattersall. Amanda has considerable experience of working to build community based coalitions in Australia. She has written about this extensively, most notably in her book ‘Power in Coalition: Strategies for Strong Unions and Social Change.’

You can read an overview of her ideas here.

Alternatively, listen to Amanda: