As Socialist Appeal reported in its last issue, since the call for a
National School Student Union (NSSU) was launched earlier this year we
have had quite a response and on the basis of this we helped to organise
a meeting on Friday 15th April, which was an enormous success.
As Socialist Appeal reported in its last issue, since the call for a National School Student Union (NSSU) was launched earlier this year we have had quite a response and on the basis of this we helped to organise a meeting on Friday 15th April, which was an enormous success.
30 school students, representing larger groups of radicalised school students from Glasgow to Oxford, were present. We believes that this fact in itself displays the powerful potential for fighting, organising and self-sacrifice present in this generation of school students. As a first meeting, the purpose of which in our opinion was the coming together of hitherto isolated groups, beginning a political discussion on the tasks of the student movement in fighting the cuts, and a launch pad to go forward and build strong school student unions around the country, it undoubtedly achieved its aims. There is now an extremely positive mood amongst everyone participating in this campaign and no time to lose!
Please see the following report on the meeting from Pierre Marshall, a school student from Oxford:
We began with reports from around the country, many people attending had been involved in political activity in their schools, and it was encouraging to hear from people who had been involved in occupations and other walkouts.
From there Jo Pickard made a comprehensive overview of the current government’s attacks on young people and education. We then discussed the draft programme and revised the basic principles. Nothing much was very controversial and many changes were only semantic in nature.
After that I joined a proposal for mutual solidarity amongst school students. This was worded so that we should be able to take action, knowing that if anyone was victimised they would be supported by the rest of the students taking part. If students are singled out and punished over walkouts the rest of the students can threaten to walk out again in solidarity. It had to be carefully worded and we spent some time perfecting it. Over time our discussion drifted off topic but it was all productive.
The basic principles of the NSSU were discussed, amended, and passed unanimously by the meeting. They are as follows:
The campaign for a National School Student Union has been founded following the movement of the youth in Britain at the end of 2010, in which the school students were in many ways the most active against fees and cuts in education and youth services.
The basic principles of the campaign are the following:
1) A National School Student Union run on a democratic basis by and for school students to defend and represent their interests.
2) Opposition to all marketisation and cuts in education, including the removal of benefits for school students, redundancies to staff, and reductions in funding for facilities. And to put forward an alternative.
3) Defending the principle of free education for all.
4) Working with and participating in the wider student, trade union, and anti-cuts movements.
5) An assurance of solidarity and an offer of support to young people targeted and victimised by institutions.