At this year’s London Labour Conference, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) has partnered with Magic Breakast and the Fair Education Alliance to hold an open fringe panel discussion: ‘Belonging at school: rebuilding the social contract between schools, families and wider services’
As we look towards the general election this year, Labour’s mission to break down the barriers to opportunity for all is at the forefront of education minds. The current challenges the education system is facing are well-known: a burgeoning teacher recruitment and retention crisis; soaring rates of absence and child poverty; long waits for SEND diagnoses and EHCPs and an accountability system that creates perverse incentives and significant strain on teachers and leaders.
It is also well-known that what happens in a child’s home life has major impacts on their time within the school gates and so education providers cannot tackle these challenges alone. Labour’s recent announcements on absence recognised the value of partnerships and information-sharing in tackling child poverty and achieving high and rising standards for all, a welcome announcement.
Yet it is worth considering what else is needed from education policy to set schools up to succeed and children to learn, particularly the most disadvantaged who continue to face significant gaps in their outcomes. This timely panel will bring together politicians, school leaders and other education stakeholders to discuss, given the current economic climate, what other pragmatic, low-resource policies might exist to ease these challenges. Panellists will discuss how services around school can support and scaffold them to deliver world-class education for every child; how to ensure effective roll-out of announced policies including school breakfasts and what else is needed to rebuild the social contact between families and schools, close the disadvantage gap and break down the barriers to opportunity for all.
We are delighted to be joined by John Camp OBE, Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and The Compass Partnership of Schools; Lindsey MacDonald, Magic Breakfast; Foujia Abdus Begum, Fair Education Alliance and Baroness Twycross, Lords Shadow Education Spokesperson. Natalie Perera, EPI’s Chief Executive, will chair the session.
**This event will take place inside the conference secure zone. To purchase a pass, please contact London Labour directly.**