Fairness and equality in education

Suggested Clause:

'We recognise that education, including higher education, is essential for the personal development of individuals and for promoting social mobility and fairness and equality in the [UK].  Accordingly:

- - Everyone in the UK shall have the right to a free education, including a free higher education;

- - Educational institutions must carry out their activities for the benefit of all potential students in the communities in which they are positioned; and

- - Non-state educational establishments are not entitled to any tax exemptions or reliefs beyond those available to other commercial businesses.'

Reasoning: fairness, equality and diversity are only achievable if our education economic's and policies support these noble ideals.

in my view, a new constitution should enshrine two things:

1. A right to free education does not stop at 18 but also includes further education.

2. The ending of privileges (such as income tax exemption) to educational establishments that for the most part serve only their paying clients 


Moderator: If you like this idea, you may also like the idea 'Equal Opportunities'  https://constitutionuk.com/category/view#/post/82169

edited on Apr 12, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Ian Smith Apr 7, 2015

Dear All,

Before I draft a suggested clause for the constitution, I should be very grateful if you would let me have any further thoughts on this idea and in particular the form of a constitutional clause.

Kind regards,


Cecilia Rossler Apr 10, 2015

How about 'We recognise the right of everyone in the UK to a free education, including higher education'? I find it hard to incorporate your second point (about private schools' tax exemptions) - personally I think this is more a matter of policy than a constitutional issue.

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Ian Smith Apr 10, 2015

Cecilia, thanks for that helpful suggestion.  I have now posted a suggested clause in the idea.  Given that it found favour with the crowd, I have included the provision about tax exemptions for private schools.  Kind regards, Ian

Cecilia Rossler Apr 12, 2015

Thanks Ian, I think the wording is much better now, and the point about private schools is clearer - you are quite right, if the crowd liked it, then it should stay.

The clause "Educational institutions must carry out their activities for the benefit of all potential students in the communities in which they are positioned; and" I find a little vague, simply because 'all potential students' in practice means, everyone in the UK. 

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Ian Smith Apr 12, 2015

Hi Cecilia, just in reply to your second point.  '... in which they are positioned' should mean, I think, the immediate geographic area around a school or college rather than the whole of the UK.  Kind regards, Ian

Cecilia Rossler Apr 14, 2015

I understand, how about just using the word 'local' instead? eg. Educational institutions must carry out their activities for the benefit of all potential students in their local areas

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Cecilia Rossler Apr 17, 2015

To all users: Please note this phase ends in 1 day. By the end of this phase we need a finalised, concise, clear clause that can go into the constitution. Thank you for your contributions.

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Fiona Condon Apr 18, 2015

Sorry to throw this in at such a late stage, but what about distance learning establishements (eg the OU). Perhaps just 'the communities that they serve'?

Ian Smith Apr 18, 2015

Thanks Fiona, I would prefer to leave the wording as it is.  I think your formulation, although attractive, has a flaw which is that the community that an institution serves could well be just one community in a region.  I suppose we could say that the positioning of the OU is the on-line community or indeed the whole of the UK. Kind regards, Ian