SEAS is keen to play its full part in proposing a motion at the Scottish Labour Party’s Annual Conference in Dundee in March.
At our recent meeting we shared and discussed four motions for the Conference. Affiliates like the Socialist Educational Association Scotland are encouraged to submit one motion to conference. The motion has to be one that could not otherwise have been raised through this years policy process.
The SEAS took a close interest in the policy process this year and was part of the Scottish Policy Forum. Given this interest in education though unsuccessful in election we were co-opted onto the Education Commission as a volunteer.
Some of the points below have not featured in the recent policy discussions.
Our four potential motions were as follows:
Age of Criminal Responsibility in Scotland
- Conference commits the Scottish Labour Party to raising the age of criminal responsibility for children in Scotland to the age of 16 at the earliest opportunity.
Concerns about cuts to support staff and mainstreaming
- Conference notes continued concerns arising from the limited nature of the presumption of mainstreaming and the level of SNP education cuts impacting on support for learning provision. Conference commits the Scottish Labour Party to follow the guidance of the United Nations and implement a human rights approach for inclusive education. Scottish Labour when in power will develop a funding model that allocates resources and incentives for inclusive educational environments to provide the necessary high quality and specialist support to children and young people with additional support needs. We will have schools and authorities develop their comprehensive Inclusive Education Plan in consultation with young people and other organsiations representing those with disabilities and additional support needs. We will ensure investment in inclusive education.
Embedding equality education
- Conference commits to embedding equality education in all schools across Curriculum for Excellence thus eliminating discrimination, advancing equality and fostering good relations among all learners in Scotland and in respect of all of the protected characteristics.
Ending taxpayers’ support for private schools
- Conference notes recent requests from a number of private schools for financial support from the SNP Government. Conference welcomes the removal of tax relief to private independent schools. Scottish Labour commits to removing all state subsidies, direct and indirect support to private schools.
As you can imagine we had terrific enjoyment in debating the merits of each of the motions!
In the end we agreed to propose the motion on ending all supports to private school given the recent requests for taxpayers’ money for a number of private schools. We look forward to speaking to our Contemporary Motion should it be accepted for conference.