Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I predict an education riot


I have told my students about this seminar on the Summer 2011 riots:

I Predict A Riot
Professor Ken Worpole, Cities Institute, LMBS, will be presenting at a seminar on what the riots mean for our city. He will talk on 'Public Space, Public Health and Urban Connectivity' and how the quality of the spaces where people live reflect the lives of the communities they serve.
The seminar followed by a panel discussion will be held on Thursday 8 December from 5pm to 6.30pm at: Unit 4 Union Wharf, 23 Wenlock Road, London N1 7SB.  RSVP joy.burgess@fha.co.uk

My view is that the riots were also about the learning spaces that we inhabit and that - especially in London - these were the great EDUCATION riots of 2011. 

Research from the child poverty action group in the 1980s indicated that if you wanted more families from non-privileged backgrounds to stay on at school, maintenance grants were necessary and lo in the twinkling of a couple of decades EMA were born. By 2011 you could pass an inner city secondary school and over hear the students talking about university: and not just as an abstract concept - but in terms of which university and what course they were considering. It seems that the very millisecond that this sort of thinking occurred, EMA was scrapped, fees shot up to £9K per year... and riots broke out.
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