Green Manifesto 2010 Education
Promoting free, public learning
Education should be at the heart of communities, and should promote social and emotional well-being, equality, inclusion and responsibility. Schools need more freedom to frame the curriculum around the needs and interests of the young people in the school. There should be an emphasis on pupil-centred learning, which caters for different learning styles, interests and needs.
Saving school playing fields in Norwich
Sport at school needs playing fields, too often under threat from developers. Norwich Green Party and Norwich South candidate Adrian Ramsay have successfully campaigned to save school playing fields from being sold for development. Greens played a key role in the campaign to save playing fields at Hewett School and Blackdale Middle School.
• Ensure most children are able to attend a good local school with admissions policies decided locally and applying to all schools.
•Move gradually to smaller class sizes by spending a further £500 million on 15,000 more teachers to get classes down to an average of 20 pupils by the end of the Parliament.
• Defend existing smaller schools and create more smaller schools. Large secondary schools in particular are alienating, and the Government’s current plan to rebuild all secondary schools offers the perfect opportunity to do so on a more human scale.
• Phase in the abolition of student tuition fees in higher education.
• Gradually expand care for those younger than school age over the period.
• Move towards ending the need for private education by creating a programme of voluntary assimilation of private schools into the state sector. Schools that remain in the private sector would have charitable status removed and would pay all relevant taxes, such as VAT.
• Phase out City Academies and Trust Schools. It is wrong to allow business and other outside organisations to have too great an influence over schools.
• Let teachers teach – abolish the remaining SATS tests, and give schools and teachers more freedom over the curriculum they teach.
•Provide a full half day a week of inviting physical activity for every child, and at least one day a year learning in the natural environment.
•Provide free school meals for all – with locally sourced or fair-trade and (where possible) organic food, and with a vegetarian option.This will encourage healthy eating, combat obesity, improve concentration and end the stigma associated with free school meals. There can be few better ways of spending up to £2bn a year, only a fraction of the amount spent on bonuses in the city.
• Introduce children to renewable technologies at school by ensuring that most schools get the bulk of their energy from on-site renewable sources.
• Where parents choose to educate their children at home this would be supported by Local Authorities, which would work to ensure that all young people have a broad and diverse education of a high quality.
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