Stand Up for Education, the NUT’s manifesto, was launched into pre-election debate at a rally on Tuesday, 10th February. The launch, in Mander Hall, London, was chaired by NUT Vice-President Philipa Harvey.
Christine Blower, NUT General Secretary, outlined the union’s strategy. As well as organising in schools against the atrocious pressures of an ‘accountability agenda’ – which increased workload at the same time as it created a curriculum organised around testing – the NUT was turning outwards to make education a political issue.
Millions of copies of the manifesto had been printed. Public meetings, in the form of ‘question times’, were being organised across England and Wales.
Other speakers underlined the importance of the manifesto’s themes.
Imran Hussain of Child Poverty Action tracked the appalling growth of child poverty under the Coalition.
Media commentator and author Owen Jones spoke of the impact of austerity on youth. He called for a vote for Labour whilst pointing to the limitations of its programme.
Tim Brighouse laid into Gove’s micro-management of schooling, which was based on a maximum of prejudice and a minimum of trust.
Michael Rosen proposed taking the manifesto further, saying that he would do all he could, through his blog, his tweeting and his public campaigning, to support a petition based on the Stand Up for Education manifesto.