About 80 people attended a meeting organised by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in east London on Monday to campaign against Labour’s education proposals.
The meeting reflected the breadth of opposition to the Education Bill, which is set to become law in the autumn. Baljeet Ghale, a Tower Hamlets teacher and vice-president of the NUT, said, “This bill completes the attack on comprehensive education.”
Gus John, an expert on education and the way schooling has failed black children, recalled how the retreat from a progressive vision of education began 30 years ago under James Callaghan’s Labour government.
The meeting agreed to widen the campaign in Tower Hamlets, with an emphasis on involving parents. Six Respect councillors attended the meeting to offer their support, but there were no councillors from the ruling Labour group. Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick did not turn up, but Respect’s George Galloway did.