Education in Britain

British government’s educational “reforms” exacerbate inequality, reduce school funding

By Alice Summers, 16 August 2018

The policies of both Labour and Conservative governments have led to massive spending cuts, threats to teacher pay and privatisation.

The British UCU Congress and the impossibility of reforming the trade unions

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 26 June 2018

Events at the University and College Union prove that the union bureaucracy is unanswerable for its actions and unaccountable to its members.

UK: Education unions sabotage struggle against academisation and low pay

By Tom Pearce, 23 June 2018

Despite the rhetoric from union representatives, no fight is being waged against the ongoing privatisation of education.

The terrible effects on children of Labour’s austerity measures in Bristol

By Mark Blackwood, 17 May 2018

Recent figures reveal that half of all children living in the Lawrence Hill area are struggling just to eat.

Murdoch’s Times witch-hunts academics for questioning UK government’s Syria lies

By Julie Hyland, 19 April 2018

Under conditions where the imperialist powers are dragging humanity towards a third world war, the ruling elites can no longer countenance critical opinion.

University and College Union sells out UK lecturers strike

By Robert Stevens, 18 April 2018

It was to demobilise opposition to its rotten deal with the employers that the UCU cut the number of universities due to walk out this week, before suspending strike action altogether

Anti-academy schools protests in UK curtailed by trade unions

By Tom Pearce, 17 April 2018

Any strikes called by the teaching unions, as a way of maintaining control over the anger of staff at the consequences of becoming academies, are being confined to a few single schools.

National Union of Students lobs sexual harassment smears at UK lecturers

By Thomas Scripps, 12 April 2018

The NUS’ report claiming rampant sexual harassment by UK academics adds fuel to the media furor against the UK lecturers’ strike.

UK higher education and university staff oppose union sellout ahead of ballot result

By Thomas Scripps, 11 April 2018

There is strong resistance to the University and College Union’s attempted sell-out of the pension dispute by university staff who oppose the bureaucracy’s lying claims.

UK workers protest Special Educational Needs and Disabilities cuts by Bradford’s Labour council

By Tania Kent, 11 April 2018

The cuts will result in the loss of 25-30 members of staff across Bradford, with the aim of saving an estimated £770,000 a year.

UK’s Open University to be decimated, as more jobs are eliminated

By Simon Whelan, 10 April 2018

Hundreds of jobs are threatened in the largest restructuring and redundancy programme in university history.

UK: Metropolitan Police admit role in construction blacklist

By Paul Bond, 7 April 2018

As police admitted involvement in the blacklisting of building workers, around 60 campaigners and victims walked out of the Undercover Policing Public Inquiry, angered over a continuing cover-up.

Teachers across the UK vote for industrial action

By Thomas Scripps, 4 April 2018

Representing the vast majority of teachers in the UK, the votes are a response to the catastrophic conditions prevailing in primary and secondary schools across the country.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) holds online meeting for education workers and students

By our reporters, 2 April 2018

The Education Fightback forum, titled “No sell-out by the UCU! Form rank and file committees!” was attended by education staff and students from around the UK.

Education Fightback forum hears special needs teacher: “A 30 percent increase in class size with the same level of staffing”

By our reporters, 2 April 2018

Schools have piloted schemes over the past year offering free school meals to children over the school holidays, because their families are too poor to feed them.

Education Fightback forum:UK lecturer speaks on casualisation of Higher Education sector

By our reporters, 2 April 2018

Stephen told the forum that one-third of existing contracts are teaching only, and paid by the hour, and less than two-thirds of British academics have a permanent contract of employment.

Vote “No” to University and College Union sellout of UK lecturers pension strike

By Robert Stevens, 29 March 2018

The University and College Union’s Higher Education Committee voted to put an inferior pensions’ offer from Universities UK to a ballot, in the face of lecturer’s opposition.

The UK Further Education strike: Lessons of the lecturers’ revolt against the University and College Union

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 27 March 2018

The attacks on Further Education staff are central to the Conservative government’s plans to turn education over to the private sector.

Attend online and call-in forum March 27

The way forward for UK lecturers after the revolt against the University and College Union

24 March 2018

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) is hosting an online and call-in forum for lecturers, college staff, other education workers and students on Tuesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m.

The role of the UCU Left in the effort to shut down the UK lecturers strike

By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2018

From its formation, the UCU Left pledged to work with the right wing within the UCU leadership, and has served to suppress opposition and bolster the authority of the unions.

UK: Lecturers and students speak on struggle to fight savage pension cuts

By our reporters, 17 March 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to striking lecturers and students on picket lines and at rallies Thursday and Friday in London and Glasgow.

The UK lecturers strike and the struggle against marketisation

Former student sues university for cost of her education

By Thomas Scripps, 16 March 2018

The collective endeavour of learning is being replaced by a purely financial and adversarial relationship between universities and students and the academic workforce.

UK lecturers resume strike following rebellion against UCU sellout agreement

By Robert Stevens, 15 March 2018

From the beginning of the dispute, the SEP has insisted that the UCU is not an organisation fighting in the interests of workers. It is a tool of management and, as with all the unions, cannot be reformed through rank and file pressure.

Striking UK lecturers speak out after rejecting union sell-out deal

By our reporters, 15 March 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with striking lecturers yesterday in London, Manchester and Sheffield.

UK university lecturers revolt against union sell-out agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2018

Thousands protested nationally and hundreds of lecturers lobbied outside the union’s headquarters in London Tuesday to demand rejection of a deal reached the previous evening.

“I’m delighted with the voices of solidarity from West Virginia”

Students and lecturers at the University of Aberdeen speak about the issues in the strike

By our reporters, 14 March 2018

Members of the IYSSE spoke to students and striking lecturers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland about the issues in the lecturers’ struggle.

Striking UK lecturers speak out to denounce attempted UCU sell-out: “I’d like to see the membership taking control more as it has done today”

By our reporters, 14 March 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters interviewed striking lecturers at an all-day protest of several hundred lecturers, students and university workers outside UCU’s headquarters in North London.

For a unified socialist movement of lecturers and students!

International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), 8 March 2018

A fight to build solidarity between lecturers and students involves a political struggle against the University and College Union, National Union of Students and other false leaderships.

UK lecturers speak in support of West Virginia teachers

By our reporters, 7 March 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to striking UK lecturers and other university staff during the first two days of this week’s four-day strike in Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester.

UK education workers send messages of solidarity to striking West Virginia teachers

By our reporters, 5 March 2018

Education workers in the UK send messages of support to the striking West Virginia teachers.

UK university lecturers, college staff and students hold joint protest in London

By our reporters, 1 March 2018

The rally followed the previous day’s talks during which the union signalled its intention to capitulate by offering further concessions over pensions.

The UK lecturer’s dispute and the marketisation of higher education

By Thomas Scripps, 1 March 2018

The attack on university lecturers is one element in a far advanced programme aimed at the destruction of higher education as it has been known for decades.

UK lecturers stage second day of national strikes

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2018

In contrast to the stand by lecturers and students, the University and College Union has insisted that the strikes give way as soon as possible to resumed negotiations.

Lecturers and students stage united protests in Sheffield and Southampton

By our reporters, 24 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to lecturers and students at universities around the UK.

Tuition fees review will escalate marketisation of higher education in UK

By Thomas Scripps, 24 February 2018

At the center of discussions is the introduction of market-based pricing for degree courses, based on likely graduate earnings.

“This is a political attack”

Striking UK lecturers speak on struggle against assault on pensions

By our reporters, 23 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to lecturers and students at universities around the UK during yesterday’s national strike by lecturers against attacks on their pensions.

UK university lecturers and college staff strike against pension cuts and wage cap

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 22 February 2018

The following is being distributed among lecturers and students at today’s national strike in the UK against attacks on lecturers’ pensions.

Questions University College London must answer on eugenics conference

By Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2018

UCL honorary senior lecturer James Thompson is obsessed almost solely with genetic differences in intelligence across genders, countries and ethnicities.

UK: Office for Students spearheads privatisation and policing of universities

By Thomas Scripps, 20 January 2018

Accompanied by lifting the cap on tuition fees and selling off of student debt to private holders, the Office for Students is set to complete the basic framework for the wholesale privatisation of higher education.

UK report singles out schools with “high levels of disadvantage” for attack

By Tania Kent, 21 December 2017

Schools nationally will see a funding cut of 1.5 to 3 percent this year.

UK school funding crisis worsens

By Tom Pearce, 14 October 2017

Due to budget cuts, schools have asked for donations from businesses to provide basic necessities, resulting in further reliance on the private sector.

London schools with flammable cladding deemed “safe”

By Tom Pearce, 28 July 2017

Despite the widespread use of flammable cladding in schools, only three schools have so far been tested.

Part 2: The reactionary origins of the incoming National Union of Students executive

By Stephen Alexander, 27 June 2017

The following is the second of a two-part series on the political issues behind the election of Labour’s Shakira Martin as NUS president.

UK National Union of Teachers sabotages struggle against funding cuts

By Tom Pearce, 16 May 2017

While the NUT continues to oppose action, other education unions, including the NASUWT, are equally concerned about preventing strikes.

Striking college lecturers protest outside of Scottish parliament

By Stephen Alexander, 29 April 2017

Despite almost a decade of swingeing education cuts, the EIS resisted any national action up until last year, when a few one-day stoppages took place.

Britain’s pseudo-left promotes Kurdish YPG militia volunteer Brace Belden as University of Glasgow Rector

By Stephen Alexander, 5 April 2017

The Kurdish YPG militias function as a proxy force of the imperialist powers in the brutal US-instigated war for regime change in Syria.

UK teaching assistants march in Durham to oppose pay cuts and attacks on conditions

By Liz Smith, 30 March 2017

Labour Party-led Durham council propose to fire and then rehire teaching assistants on a contract that will result in a 23 percent pay cut.

Protests underway in UK against school education funding cuts

By John Vassilopoulos, 29 March 2017

In the inner London borough of Lambeth, £25 million is to be slashed from school funding by 2020. For some schools this means up to 25 percent in cuts to their budget.

UK budget steps up attacks on education

By Tom Pearce, 21 March 2017

On budget day, Conservative Education Secretary Justine Greening was heckled by head teachers as she spoke at an Association of School and College Leaders meeting.

Top British state schools exclude working-class children

By Alice Summers, 16 March 2017

Studies show that social class is the defining factor in a child’s educational achievement.

Unions in UK oppose struggle against massive school spending cuts

By Tom Pearce, 1 March 2017

In the southern English county of Hampshire, 1,700 teachers’ jobs could go by 2019-20 as part of a £62 million package of government cuts.

The racialist agenda of the “Decolonise Education” movement

By Joe Mount, 24 February 2017

The classification of philosophers based on their skin colour, rather than their place in the historical development of human thought, is combined with an attack on the entire progressive tradition of the Enlightenment.

UK schools decimated by funding cuts

By Tom Pearce, 15 February 2017

Seventy-one percent of school head teachers polled were able to balance their budgets only by making cuts or dipping into reserves.

New legislation gives private sector further access to higher education in Britain

By Alice Summers and Thomas Scripps, 26 January 2017

Student “choice” is in fact a euphemism for the introduction of measures designed to lower the requirements that educational institutions must satisfy in order to attain university status.

Funding cuts across almost all UK schools

By Tom Pearce, 22 December 2016

According to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, government spending proposals for schools will mean that “around 90 percent of schools" would see funding cuts.

UK students and lecturers protest education cuts

By a reporting team, 21 November 2016

Young people brought their own homemade banners such as “No fees, no cuts, no debt”, “Drop Fees, Not Bombs” and “Education, not Deportation.”

UK: Durham teaching assistants vote to strike

By Tania Kent, 26 October 2016

The cuts to education budgets mean thousands of teaching assistants losing their jobs or facing a major reduction in their hours.

UK education funding cuts bring schools to breaking point

By Tom Pearce, 19 October 2016

An Institute for Fiscal Studies report notes that school spending per pupil is likely to fall by around 8 percent in real terms by 2020.

Military units established in UK state schools

By Liz Smith, 13 October 2016

The UK is the only European Union country to permit 16-year-olds to join the armed forces and start military training.

UK government pledge to expand grammar schools signals escalation of selective education

By Robert Stevens, 13 September 2016

The attack on comprehensive education has been proceeding apace, with the majority of secondary schools now academies and free schools.

UK law firm boasts blocking support to disadvantaged children

By Benjamin Trent and Paul Mitchell, 4 August 2016

More than 1.3 million schoolchildren in England—15 percent of the total—have been identified as needing special educational needs and disabilities support.

UK: Children referred for “deradicalisation” under “anti-terrorist” strategy

By Tom Pearce, 15 July 2016

Since the start of the 2015 academic year, increasing numbers of youth have been questioned over their religion, political affiliation and actions.

UK teachers hold one-day strike against education bill

By Tania Kent, 5 July 2016

The strike by National Union of Teachers members takes place amid the drive for the complete privatisation of state education.

Debt soars for students in England

By Thomas Scripps, 14 June 2016

With interest, the average graduate will pay back an additional £3,000 more than they were expecting, with the burden falling more heavily on the poor.

UK university lecturers strike against pay cuts and casualisation

By our reporters, 28 May 2016

University staff have seen their pay fall in real terms by 14.5 percent since 2009.

UK White Paper escalates privatisation of higher education

By Joe Mount, 28 May 2016

The proposals remove any remaining barriers to profit making and facilitate the establishment of private universities.

Unsafe Edinburgh schools expose scandal of privatisation

By Steve James, 30 April 2016

Sixteen Edinburgh schools remain closed after the private consortium that built and managed the properties was unable to guarantee the safety of the buildings.

UK White Paper paves way for the destruction of public education

By Tania Kent, 11 April 2016

The Conservative Cameron government is demanding that all schools are converted into academies, which are state funded but privately run, by 2022.

Cuts lead to closure of hundreds of public libraries across UK

By Alice Summers, 2 April 2016

Since 2010, about a quarter of library workers have lost their jobs.

UK teacher shortages on the rise

By Tom Pearce, 19 March 2016

The failure of the UK government to achieve its target for teacher recruitment is symptomatic of the crisis arising from dictatorial conditions and extreme governmental pressure.

Strike at 200 Further Education colleges in England

By Margot Miller, 27 February 2016

Some Further Education staff have suffered a reduction in pay by as much as 17 percent after years on lower than inflation pay rises.

UK schools privatisation programme continues despite failures

By Tom Pearce, 24 February 2016

The Academy programme privatisation scheme has led to a substandard level of education for children and large chains controlling schools across wide geographical areas.

Cuts lead to staffing crisis in UK education

By Tom Pearce, 16 January 2016

Schools are paying recruitment agencies ever greater sums for finders fees.

Student accommodation costs rocket in UK

By Thomas Scripps, 6 January 2016

Investors are responding to the profits available due to the increased enrolment of foreign students in British universities and the expansion of privately rented halls.

UK Tories step up attacks on school education

By Tom Pearce, 5 January 2016

The cuts in education are part of the government’s austerity agenda aimed at saving more than £20 billion in public finances.

Open University staff in Britain protest regional centre closures

By Joyce Smith, 4 December 2015

The OU is the largest academic institution in the UK and Europe by student number.

UK students protest education cuts

By Ben Trent, 12 November 2015

Since the introduction of tuition fees under Tony Blair, the cost of education in the UK has soared.

UK teachers leave profession in record numbers

By Tania Kent, 7 August 2015

Applications for teaching jobs have declined by 27,000 in the last 12 months.

UK: Poorest children lag behind on language skills

By Tom Pearse and Sascha Woods, 11 July 2015

A fifth of children in England leave primary school unable to read well, including over a third of the poorest children.

250,000 demonstrate against austerity in London

By our reporters, 22 June 2015

The mass demonstration is a reflection of widespread opposition to the Conservative government’s plans to ramp up austerity, following decades of cuts under both Tory and Labour Party governments.

Report reveals poor performance by UK academies and free schools

By Tania Kent, 31 December 2014

New figures expose the fact that the UK government’s drive to privatise schools is having a devastating impact on the education of children.

Further militarisation of UK schools

By Joe Mount, 29 December 2014

The British elite responded to the 2011 inner-city youth riots by demanding the militarisation of the education system.

UK: Police use tear gas to repress student sit-in at Warwick University

By Joe Mount, 8 December 2014

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, police brutality against young people has become ever more ferocious.

Business leader selected as new chair of UK schools inspectorate

By Tania Kent, 7 August 2014

New UK schools inspectorate head David Hoare specialises in taking over failing enterprises, sacking workers, imposing cuts and restructuring work practices.

British university system faces collapse

By Joe Mount, 29 July 2014

Britain’s universities increasingly rely on private philanthropists for their funding.

UK schools required to actively promote “British values”

By Thomas Scripps, 19 July 2014

Behind all the talk of democratic values, the British bourgeoisie—like its counterparts the world over—are developing more and more repressive measures to police working people.

UK public sector workers explain their decision to strike

By our reporters, 14 July 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers in a number of town and cities in England who participated in last Thursday’s national public sector strike and protests.

UK National Union of Teachers stage one-day strike

By Margo Miller, 29 March 2014

The strike forced 3,000 schools—12 percent of the total number of schools—to shut their doors completely.

Nationwide strike by UK teachers

By our reporters, 28 March 2014

Teachers held marches and rallies across the UK during their 24-hour strike Wednesday.

Top British universities exclude poorer students

By Thomas Scripps, 14 March 2014

Just one in a hundred children who receives free school meals, receives a place at either of the top two British universities, Oxford and Cambridge.

Students sue British government over ban on loans and grants

By Joan Smith and Paul Mitchell, 11 March 2014

Romanian and Bulgarian students are taking the British government to court over its decision to end financial support while they study in the UK.

British government cuts funding for poorest university students

By Ben Trent, 7 March 2014

University application figures in 2013 dropped to their lowest since 2009, with research highlighting the trebling of tuition fees to £9,000 as the main cause.

UK teachers union refuses to back one-day strike

By Margot Miller, 21 February 2014

The aim of the NUT in calling for a day’s strike is not to fight for the interests of its members but to secure a place at the negotiating table.

British government attempts to stamp out student protests

By Zach Reed, 14 February 2014

Students protesting against the attacks on education have been met with police assaults, arrests and suspension.

National schools inspectorate to be overhauled by UK government

By Jo March, 14 February 2014

A brutal inspection regime has been used by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition to force schools to become academies as a step towards privatisation.

Rich lap up the cream of Britain’s top state schools

By Thomas Scripps, 8 February 2014

The richest in the UK are able to pick and choose the 30 best state schools to educate their children.

Britain: Labour’s plan for licences another attempt to vilify teachers

By Margot Miller, 23 January 2014

Under the Labour Party’s new proposals, regular re-licensing will make it easier to sack teachers.

Administrators demand additional fee hikes in British universities

By Joe Mount, 7 November 2013

The Universities UK organisation, representing vice-chancellors, is calling for a hike in tuition fees beyond the current £9,000 level.

UK teaching unions call off strike action

By Tania Kent, 5 November 2013

The calling off of a national teachers’ strike exposes the role of Britain’s pseudo-left groups, who have provided a crucial cover for the trade union bureaucracy.

UK lecturers and academic staff stage one-day national strike

By Robert Stevens, 2 November 2013

Rallies were held in major cities throughout England and Scotland.