Thursday, 25 November 2010

Education Protests in Lancaster

There were protests across the country yesterday and I happened to be in Lancaster. You can look at my photography blog to see my comments on this photo at but here I will discuss the politics of the scene.

I guess that Wednesday was chosen as universities often give over this afternoon to sports or other interests. So a Wednesday protest would seem reasonable but in this case most of the protesters should have been at school. I even met a local headteacher who was keeping an eye on proceedings. He gave his pupils the option of protesting at the school gate but there weren't many takers. He also told me that if the parents knew about the protest then it would go down as unauthorised absence. If they didn't know then it was truancy.

I think it is really important that we protest on things we feel strongly about. If the children are passionate about their education that is fantastic. Unfortunately the great principle of standing up for education falls down because they had to leave school in order to protest. A cynic would say that the children don't really want to protest as their love of education did not extend to yesterday's classes and they had other opportunities to protest without disrupting their education. They just wanted a break from school. It would certainly have been cheaper if those pupils had protested within their schools and then no police presence would have been needed.

Change the world

1 comment:

  1. One of the government new scrapping the EMA. While on one level I agree that children should not have to be paid to be at school. But I think the government has missed the point. EMAs were started so that students from less well off families could continue their education post 16. It is these students who will now have to possibly find part-time jobs, which will leave them less time to study.
    Are the present government trying to bring the UK back to the situation where only the wealthy can afford to educate their children beyond year 11? It seems to me that they are with the new measures they have put in place.