The Social Liberal Forum has recently undertaken an exercise to begin to develop policy in key areas in an attempt to express progress in Lib Dem thinking. I undertook to write a policy discussion document that could ignite debate around education policy and mark out some likely parameters within which to frame the debate.
It seemed to me, as an education policy analyst and campaigner for many years, that the debate has become stuck in certain grooves, such as social mobility and school structures for example, with each party trying to outdo the other in nuancing policy within these grooves, rather then looking at key challenges and then thinking how these can be approached and resolved sustainably. Arguably the key challenge is equipping our young people for life in the 21st century. This has to take into account: the effect of the financial collapse of 2008, the shifting global political landscape (and globalisation in general), and the context both of rapid technological change and climate change.
A new vision is required that takes into account the practicalities and possible future challenges of the 21st century. It is unfair to our young people to impose education policy in a vacuum without taking into consideration a world so vastly different and complex to the world that the younger generation's parents and grandparents grew up in.
You can find the PDF here of "Developing a coherent, progressive and sustainable education policy", and find hard copies at the LDEA stall at conference.
We at the SLF look forward to hearing your thoughts and working, as Liberal Democrats together, to develop an education policy fit for our times.
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