Friday, September 14, 2012

Conference amendment

Amendment to motion F6 Getting the Most out of Schools, submitted by West Midlands Region to Liberal Democrat autumn conference 2012:

Following the words
"To improve vocational education, conference calls for:"
Delete lines 27-28 and 40, currently reading:
"i) Clear pathways to be developed for those undertaking vocational courses so that they
remain a legitimate and valued alternative to academic courses."
"vi) A vocational equivalent to the EBacc."

Insert new:
i) reaffirmation of the party's long-standing commitment to the integration of academic and vocational education;

vi) development of new GCSEs to provide challenge, choice and opportunity for all students through vocational and academic options.

Add the following lines:

Conference further instructs Federal Policy committee to develop proposals for Liberal Democrat policies for 14-19 education that provide opportunities for all young people, in line with the above principles and including the following:

1) commissioning of 14-19 education to lie with local education authorities, who will be charged with ensuring students have adequate choice and opportunity;

2) establishment of an Open School to provide virtual resources and learning for new and expanded student options.

Proposer: Cllr Jon Hunt, regional policy chair, chair education scrutiny Birmingham city council 2005-2011
Summator: Lee Dargue, regional vice-chair, regional education spokesperson

Purpose of amendment:
this amendment reflects the findings of a major project undertaken by West Midlands region's policy committee and its regional conference. It was to have been a separate motion next year but clearly F6 deals with the same area.

Our proposals call for the creation of distinctive Liberal Democrat policy, based on the concepts of choice and opportunity for young people, as opposed to "tweaking" coalition policy, as we believe F6 does.

- reaffirms party commitment to integration of academic and vocational education;
- prevents any impression that the Ebacc is party policy (it emanates from the Tory half of the coalition);
- sets out some new principles around choice which should be explored to create an imaginative new policy based on Liberal Democrat principles and building on the education system created by the coalition government;
- sets out some extra proposals to achieve this:
* an Open School;
* commissioning role for local authorities;
- provides and clarifies potential role for local authorities within education;
- calls for more work by FPC to develop these policies into an attractive and workable package for 2015.