The ESU has submitted evidence to the Oracy All-Party Parliamentary Group’s 2019 inquiry, Speaking for Change. The inquiry will ‘investigate the current provision of oracy education in the UK, assess the value and impact of oracy education and identify the barriers to children accessing and receiving quality oracy education.’
The Oracy APPG is supported by the Oracy Network, of which the ESU is a founding member.
The submission uses evidence from our work on the transformative nature of oracy education.
Here is a summary of what we have submitted:
- Oracy enables students to fully succeed both at school and in later life. There is a social justice imperative to ensure that all young people, not just the most privileged, can develop and demonstrate their oracy skills.
- Oracy education develops the ability to conduct reasoned debate around divisive issues and to respect the opinions of those with who you disagree. As such, it equips young people with the tools they need to navigate today’s divided political landscape: this includes both cognitive ‘skills and knowledge’ and social/emotional competencies.
- Students with a wide range of characteristics, in many different settings, have much to gain from oracy education. It should not be reserved for the ‘gifted and talented’ and the current under-provision of extra-curricular oracy activities in schools serving disadvantaged communities should be addressed.
- Schools and teachers are at the heart of ensuring that every child can access a quality oracy education. Government policy needs to ensure that schools are empowered to prioritise oracy in their work; and both government and expert external providers have a role to play in supporting teachers in developing the professional skills, confidence and networks that they need to deliver quality oracy education.