Young progressives

Groundwork done – now for a new debate

Alex White  |  15 October 2013

Welcome to the new job, Tristram Hunt. If you look to your left, you’ll see that because you aren’t advocating full local control over schools, you are clearly incapable of being ‘distinctive and principled’. And if you look to your right, you’ll see the infernal ranting of a man whose faux-confusion and outrage is hopefully …

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School freedom was never a Tory idea

Alex White  |  18 June 2013

Like all good education policy announcements, Stephen Twigg’s chose the trusted ‘three priorities’ method when delivering his keynote speech yesterday. Freedom, devolution and collaboration will provide the backbone to Labour’s education offer in 2015. But more importantly, they allow Labour to finally feel comfortable with our achievements in government. The first of these priorities is …

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Labour needs to make Europe accessible

Alex White  |  12 April 2013

Brace yourselves, a perfect storm is brewing. Next year’s European elections will draw out and intensify the debate on the right over Europe. A year before the general election, UKIP have a chance to make sure their single issue is on the agenda going into a Westminster election more firmly than any other single-issue party …

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Six seats to watch in 2015

Alex White  |  9 January 2013

It conjures up a curious mix of feelings to see a list of Labour’s key targets for the 2015 election – excitement for the campaigns, despair for how close we came to winning some in 2010. Here is our path back to power laid out in 106 battleground seats, most of which would take a …

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Giving the young a voice

Steve Hughes  |  14 December 2012

In May this year I was elected with over 50 per cent of the vote to represent the people of Irwell, Rossendale at the age of 19 – the youngest councillor to ever be elected in Rossendale. Now, as member champion for younger people, my job is to be an ambassador for the young people …

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Gove follows Labour on Tech Bacc

Alex White  |  3 December 2012

Which Labour policy would, according to Michael Gove’s Hyperbole Machine, leave ‘millions of state school pupils unemployable’? That would be the Technical Baccalaureate policy which Gove has this week picked up, having realised that he should probably contribute to ending youth unemployment. The Tech Bacc, which provides practical courses for young people for whom university …

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Ten years of academies

Alex White  |  5 September 2012

Ten years ago this month, The Business Academy Bexley opened its doors. The first academy in England, it replaced Thamesmead Community College, an institution which reflected the inherent failures of an education system held back by tired dogma. In Thamesmead’s final year, just 10 per cent of its students achieved five or more A*-C grades …

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Three priorities, one great result

Alex White  |  9 August 2012

My primary school, halfway through my time there, seemed to adopt a rather pithy motto. I think it was in Latin, but having been brought up before the great liberator Michael Gove launched his attack on the oppressive, anti-Latin language programmes in schools, I can’t give you the full translation, but it was essentially ‘always …

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Optimism is not enough

Alex White  |  13 July 2012

When Tyrell Burgess, academic and innovative educational thinker, was asked to write a Labour party pamphlet on education he found himself ‘depressed about the lack of real planning … I could only bring myself to say no more than we would “make a start”’. That was his own admission from an essay published in 1968 …

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Sticker-price fees are strangling aspiration

Susan Nash  |  11 July 2012

The Helena Kennedy Foundation works with students in further education progressing to higher education. When students’ main concern is the cost associated with studying, it comes as little surprise that the first year of university tuition fees set with the maximum £9,000 rate possible, has seen a drop in applicants. When the government announced its …

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