education

A response from the Green Party

It’s been a while since I posted an asexuality update. I’ve been largely involved with maaple (I’m sure I’ll make another post about that at some point…). But I’ve had a belated but nonetheless encouraging letter from the Green Party. I asked them about their policy on asexuality equality and, specifically, about the Equality Act 2010. Here is their response.

Dear Stephen,

Thank you for writing to the Green Party. Your letter has been directed to me as it deals with policy. Please also accept my apologies for the delay in not being able to respond before the election — we are a small team in a busy office, and receive a large volume of enquiries.

The Green Party recognises that asexuality and aromanticism are part of the diverse range of human experience and should be recognised. The Green party rejects any stigmatising of these characteristics as bad for individuals, or bad for society.

We understand that these characteristics are thoroughly misunderstood by society. Therefore we would aim to include details of them in general education so that asexual and aromantic people can flourish in society. The Green Party is committed to fully inclusive sex and relationships education for all children.

These pledges are made in our 2015 LGBTIQ manifesto which you can read in full at https://www.greenparty.org.uk/resources/LGBTIQ_Manifesto_v4%20FINAL.pdf.

Currently our policy on asexual rights is quite broad, and we do not have a specific policy on the inclusion of asexuals in the Equality Act. However, I believe that our general policy on sexual orientation (which includes discrimination and legal equality) may be up for review later this year, with a view to including asexuals. Green Party policy is made democratically by our members who vote on proposals at conferences twice a year, and I believe a motion is being prepared for the next conference in September.

The Green Party has a proud history of standing up for LGBTIQ rights, and I doubt there would be opposition to the inclusion of asexuals in anti-discrimination measures and laws. Should you be interested in joining the party, I would encourage you to take part in our policy making process.

For more information on our other policies, please see our manifesto which can be found here: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/we-stand-for/2015-manifesto.html.

Once again, thank you for your letter and please do not hesitate to contact us in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Matt Burton (Policy Volunteer)

This sounds very promising indeed!

Hit Where It Hurts

By |December 13th, 2010|Quick thoughts|0 Comments

Right now, I feel extremely lucky to have been born in 1985. This is a very new feeling. We were the first guinea pigs to be fed the new modular A Level syllabuses; we narrowly missed out on receiving the Education Maintenance Allowance; we were asked to take out loans for tuition fees; and we also missed out on the Child Trust Fund and other such things. These are all invariably “good things” under various guises. But they are all being meddled with.

And, of course, the younger people are not happy. No more Child Trust Funds. No more Education Maintenance Allowances. Sweeping changes to post-16 education. Phenomenal increases to tuition fees. Why? Because the rich oldies made us poor, and don’t have to pay it back.

That’s the perception. And with that perception in mind, it is understandable for them to angry. Ultimately, they are being asked to pay when the big companies have seemingly got away with it.

That is, of course, no excuse for violence and vandalism. Given that trying to make a noise is greeted with condemnation anyway, the actions of rioters were futile — it made no difference to the decision and generated apathy and derision from the press and public. In contrast, a quiet, peaceful protest would have been completely ignored (most were) and generated a modest amount of sympathy.

It’s sad. What can we offer young people? Not much work, not much support; education isn’t a viable alternative. Don’t expect any sympathy from the welfare system, and don’t expect anyone to be able to afford to put you up for the night.

Of course, if you have rich parents you needn’t worry. You can get your civil servants to do all the hard graft.

Parenting by the Textbook

By |August 10th, 2010|Quick thoughts|1 Comment

Have a read of this article on the BBC News website. There are two important points that Frank Field MP proposes with regard to parenting and education. Seeing as education is an important aspect of my life, I comment.

The first point is that there should be more education in schools about parenting and how to become good parents. In fact, he cites a recent visit to a Birkenhead school where a group of 15 year olds suggested this would be the first thing they would wish to learn in school. That might seem extreme, but a lot of soon-to-be adults realise that they aren’t well equipped to be parents, and given some children become parents before adulthood perhaps that request becomes more pertinent.

The second suggestion Field makes is that parenting could become a GCSE subject:

“What I’m looking at now is whether we could teach it [parenting] through the other subjects, but also that the modules could actually be built into a separate GCSE,” he said.

“And in a sense the bonus would be both for the pupils and the schools that they’d be picking up an extra GCSE.”

MP thinks parenting GCSE could tackle ‘toerag parents’, BBC News

I would say, “wrong”. The problem with a GCSE is that it would have to be earned for it to be considered compatible and as worthy as other GCSEs. Therefore, there would have to be people that would fail GCSE Parenting. And what of them? Will they be prevented from becoming parents? Or will they be made to undertake the course again? Would those that pass the course be deemed “good parents” — will those with A* grades be encouraged to become foster parents?

Parenting education is genuinely a good idea, and many children progress through school and leave without really having gained an understanding of life skills. However, this is one of the vast list of topics that should be considered in a PSHE education (take a look at the PSHE Association website). My criticism is that schools pay little heed to PSHE education… cynics might speculate as to the reason.