On Tuesday 6th December the call went out via Twitter from Alice Woolley (@Alicewoolley1), Education editor at The Guardian for questions to put to the Right Honourable Stephen Twigg (@Stephen Twigg), Shadow Education Secretary, in an interview being conducted today by journalist Louise Tickle (@louisetickle)

I think the plethora of questions from around the UK gave a uniquely crystallised insight into the very real concerns of many, many teachers. Concerns not only about the route down which state education is going (I say route, maybe ‘drain’ would best sum it up) but also concerns over what the Opposition is doing to, er, oppose it…

Enjoy the questions and we look forward to the answers on Tuesday 13th December in the Education Guardian (@GuardianEdu):

  • Can you ask him if he ever got to be Shadow Ed Sec how he would stand up for teachers? Er, hang on a minute…
  • Will we restart BSF if we get back into government? 
  • If he’s going to show more of an interest in 16-18? Particularly the FE sector? Early days but still…
  • What role do you see for local authorities in education?
  • How to ensure that the talents of white boys, eligible for fsms, are no longer wasted. Currently, this is the case all too often.
  • If a school gives the whole parent grp. 5 days notice “consultation” re academy is this legal? 
  • How will he ensure that we have a curriculum in school fit for 21C?
  • If elected, would you be the sos for education (only), for ‘children, schools and families’ or something else?
  • Shd he cite Singapore as an exemplar in education when it is not signed up to Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • What is your reaction to @Literacy_Trust‘s recent report that a third of children in Britain do not own a book?
  • T’s odd is it not that publicly accountable schools are not at all accountable in the way private schools are
  • Will we restart BSF if we get back into government?
  • What is the purpose of education? To learn how to learn or to meet the 5 GCSE target?
  • Is the purpose of education securing highly paid employment in the future or is there more to it than that?
  • When arts undervalued in Goves ebac and arts funding is being slashed, will you be a champion for arts education in schools? 
  • How will you ensure that all schools, whether community or academy, operate on a level playing field?
  • Would Labour reinstate EMA or what would a future Lab Gov bring in to replace it ?
  • Ed M supports voting at 16. Do schools have role developing political literacy to prevent apathy?
  • Is a Christian “daily act of worship” relevant in the 21st century? If so, why?
  • Why he thinks teacher training applications are down
  • How will we safeguard the future of the country by educating kids with a teaching body made up of knackered, underpaid 60+ yr-olds
  • How can we protect teachers’ sick leave & maternity rights when free schools can ignore national pay & condition guidelines?
  • Do you believe that social class impacts in any way on student achievement?
  • Given that the National Audit Office has confirmed the TPS is affordable, do you support teachers fighting for their pensions?
  • You are in opposition. Can you tell me which bits of government policy you are currently opposing as I feel I may have missed them
  • Should schools teach that marriage is the most acceptable form of partnership between two adults?
  • Is it possible to make a judement about teaching if you have never been a teacher yourself?
  • Should teachers be consulted on education policy? 
  • How would you ensure that teachers felt that the work they did was valued?
  • Should supply teachers working in state schools have access to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme?
  • Should private schools be allowed to become academies?
  • There is some evidence that cover supervisors are being used to actively teach in schools. How do you feel about this?
  • Are there any circumstances under which it would be acceptable to run education for profit?
  • Should those with predjudiced views such as people who are homophobic be allowed to run schools?
  • Does what a teacher wears impact on the quality of their teaching?
  • Do you believe the only way to raise achievement is through handing schools over to private organisations?
  • In what ways does Labour education policy differ from Tory education policy?
  • Should government education policy always be based on academic research and firm evidence?
  • Do you believe in nationally agreed pay and conditions for teachers?
  • Do you believe that chidren in schools should be taught by qualified teachers?
  • Do you support the expansion of the University Technical Colleges?
  • What are the chances of a future Labour government ending academic selection in our schools?
  • What will Labour do to support adults to return to FE?
  • Which international examples of success in reducing educational inequalities has Labours policy review focused on so far? 
  • Is it right that a school becomes an academy when staff/pupils/parents/LA and 9 out of 19 governors say NO
  • What is the future of Federation Schools and Federation Heads?
  • Are going to start publicly critiquing Gove or will you just let him get on with dismantling education 
  • How do we maintain leading research and practice in teaching if Unis are loosing role in teacher education under Gov plans? 
  • Why can’t teachers be trusted to do their job well and professionally? Will he try & replace the lost respect & support for us?
  • Will labour back calls to keep citizenship and political literacy in schools??
  • In reference to Gove’s teacher training plans – Do you think qualifications are the measure of a good teacher?
  • Do you agree w/ free school mascot Toby Young that LGBT education is one of the “crazy excesses of contemporary state education”?
  • Actually, what IS Labour’s vision for education in England in a post coalition situation?
  • What are Mr Twigg’s favourite memories from his own schooldays? How do these inform his vision for education in England?
  • Will you continue the Academies programme forced or convertor and will you expect all schools to become Academies?
  • Would you have the porn industry advise the government on sex education as you would the gambling industry on gambling education?
  • Will we ever have a govt that really trusts its teachers?
  • Does the sec of state for education now have too much power to dictate rather than consult on what is taught in schools ?
  • What one thing should New Labour have done differently in education?
  • Why do private schools continue to enjoy charitable status – is this something you would seek to change?
  • Why do you support free schools when they are not obliged to promote & ensure equality and diversity?
  • How do you plan to promote apprenticeships and vocational training?
  • If he supports raising of floor targets for all Primary & Secondary schools? And why #Labour did not do this earlier??
  • Do you think EYSF should be taught by a qualified teacher or shall schools advertise for baby sitters instead?
  • Do you agree with Oliver Letwin that public sector workers need “fear & discipline”?
  • How do we ensure Executive Heads and school leaders generally maintain credible academic leaders in times of ‘business’ focus?
  • Should teachers be consulted on education policy? 
  • What’s Labour’s
    position on grammar schools? 
  • Does he think that the increase in numbers if children living in poverty will impact on pupil attainment
  • What is the future of the national curriculum if academisation frees schools to abandon it?
  • Whether he thinks teachers should have a post graduate level teaching qualification it whether the army should just do the job.
  • Is there value in requiring schools to officially report homophobic bullying to Governing Bodies, as currently done with racism? 
  • Will you introduce compulsory basic economics and banking classes in schools so kids can learn about tax, mortgages, loans etc
  • Do you support a fully comprehensive, state-funded, democratically accountable education system?
  • Would you support #freeschools proposal groups that are built on social justice in partnership with community and local schools?
  • How do you feel about state schools being run for profit?
  • Should Primary schools be forced to become Academies on the basis of national average data regardless of other factors?
  • Why are self elected quangos seen to be more effective than professional educationalists accountable to elected councils? 
  • Should any new initiatives added to education policy be allowed a decent amount of time to run rather than pulled after 1 year?
  • Should we continue to compare schools, that are all very different, in league tables?
  • Do you have any issues with ceos of academy chains (of just 14 schools) being paid £280,000? [too right I have issues!]
  • Should supply teachers working in state schools have access to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme?
  • What do you think of Clause 28 in the Academy agreement?
  • Would you propose a long term academic study to assess the recent reforms in education policy and their success or failure?
  • As someone who has accepted a free trip from BICOM, how do you feel Israel’s Wall helps the education of Palestinian children
  • Is it acceptable that legal safeguards for pupils and parents in academies are non-existent?
  • Do you think it right that shiny, new Academies get to decide how many days they teach or should they be bound by law?
  • When did we as a society lose the will to nurture children though their education and prefer a stick.
  • How can constant bullying, observation and threats of capability procedure improve teaching?
  • Is time to ditch dogma in education provision and opt for evidence based policy?
  • When is education going to be taken out of politics and a sensible, say 10 yr ed plan,
  • What would you do about an Academy charging parents £100 a week for childcare?

And finally…

 

 

 

Advertisements