Image of Hammer and Sickle

New Communist Party of Britain

adopted December 2015

Education

The purpose of the education system in Britain has never been for the benefit of the working class. It has been developed to provide a workforce sufficiently educated, but no more so than necessary, so that the ruling class can extract the maximum amount of profit. This is the main reason why the ruling class has never relinquished control of the education system.

Under the ruling class's economic policy, where there has been a steep decline in the manufacturing and engineering industries, the education system has been changed to suit the service sector. So much so that now there is a lack of skills to support any desired expansion of manufacturing and engineering whether this be in car design and production, the aero industry or pharmaceuticals. The education system must be changed to emphasise the importance of these industries and the development of cultural, social, sporting and political activities, which in any decent society should be considered the norm for all. This can only be done by introducing a comprehensive system of education for all age groups.

There should be statutory pre‑school education across the board for all that does not include testing.

SATS tests on primary school children should be abolished, and the proposed introduction of tests on primary school pupils in Scotland opposed. The unnecessary pressure of tests and assessments on children and staff in primary schools should be stopped. The curriculum should be returned to its broad educational approach that gives the child the taste of our wider culture and multicultural life.

Teaching standards should be monitored but in a constructive way, agreed with teaching unions, that offers support to teachers and identifies areas where more resources and skills are needed and sees to it that they are provided. Neither teachers nor students should have to dread inspections but welcome them as an opportunity to discuss problems and exchange information about innovations and best practice.

We would see a return to comprehensive schools as originally envisaged and the development of a policy to solve the skills deficit that is facing Britain. This would entail the all the independent “academies” and “free schools” coming back under the administration and control of elected local educational authorities to allow those authorities to offer excellent education to all young people in their locality.

We call for the abolition of all tuition fees and for education at all levels to be free. And any education at post age 16 should be supported by mandatory grants and not means tested. This financial support should apply equally to students on vocational as well as academic courses.

Education at adult education institutes (AEI) should also be free, as should any supplementary classes for community groups like youth clubs and pensioners’ groups.

There is an urgent need to look at the syllabi of all levels of education from teacher training to primary school; from science teachers to youth workers.

Funding of education needs to be increased substantially and be controlled by the appropriate local council, enabling them to direct resources as needs dictate. Sponsorship of schools by “charity” organisations or companies should cease. If they have spare money to spend on education they can afford to be taxed more heavily so that democratically elected councillors have more money to promote all‑round education.

Since the 1980’s the facilities available to young people to participate in physical and cultural activities have either been closed or reduced significantly. Youth clubs have been closed; playing fields sold for high‑priced housing; swimming pools sold and converted into up‑market “fitness” clubs with exorbitant membership fees.

We would make it mandatory for local authorities to make facilities available for the youth in their areas to participate in both physical and cultural activities that are fully funded by taxation.

We would remove religion from the curriculum of any school. If religion is to be taught it should be in the local religious gathering place or at home. Religion is the parent’s responsibility not a state‑funded responsibility.

The NCP opposes the existence of separate schools on the basis of wealth, social class, or religious faith. All such schools must be integrated into a single educational structure that meets the needs of all children, and seeks to promote social equality and the highest standards of academic, practical and ethical formation for everyone.