The Socialist Educational Association is an independent socialist educational organisation based in the United Kingdom. It is affiliated to the Labour Party as a socialist society, acting as the party's think tank on educational matters for 75 years. Today, it assists in the development of and monitors educational policies of the Labour Party.
The association was founded as the National Association of Labour Teachers in the 1920s, but grew into a broader church and was renamed the ‘Socialist Educational Association’. The association is organised on a structure of branches, each branch being loosely based on an LEA area. The association has a national executive committee which meets eight times a year. This is composed of nationally elected members: officers, plus eight women and eight men; together with delegates from the branches. The association also holds an annual conference in June each year. Caroline Benn was, for a time, the SEA president.
It aims to promote non-selective education, equality of opportunity and lifelong availability of adequate educational provision throughout the UK. It believes in all compulsory education being free and adequately resourced. It seeks to enlist the support of the Trade Union and Co-operative movements and to encourage support for a socialist vision of education amongst teaching staff.
Former general secretaries have included Graham Lane and Malcolm Horne. Martin Dore, who served from 2008 until 2014, has been succeeded by John Bolt. Melissa Benn is a vice president of the Association. Professor Richard Pring was the association's president from 2008 until he retired from that position in June 2017. The following month, it was announced that the association's new President is Professor Selina Todd of Oxford University. Following the retirement of John Bolt as General Secretary, James Whiting was elected as his successor at the AGM held in June 2019.