The National Organisation of Labour Students was founded in 1971 and became Labour Students in 1992. Our history is one that we are proud of. Since our founding, Labour Students has worked prominently both within the wider Labour movement and in the student movement.
Until the early 1980s, Labour Students worked as part of the Broad Left faction in NUS, before striking out alone and standing its candidates with their affiliation clearly visible to all. To this day, Labour Students is the grouping within NUS whose candidates stand with their values on their sleeves, to be open and honest with students.
In 2004, Labour Students worked hard in an attempt to defeat the introduction of "top-up" fees for university students. Since then, the organisation has lobbied for increased maintenance grants, targeted at the poorest students. This is opposed by various far-left groups, but at NUS Conference in 2006, delegates supported our fairer policy, turning away from a historic attachment to full grants for all students.
In recent years, Labour Students has lobbied on issues directly, complementing its work in NUS. 2005 saw our "Sex, Lives & Politics" campaign, which successfully called on the Treasury to remove the luxury rate of VAT on condoms. 2006 was the year of our "Make Child Poverty History" priority campaign, which fought to extend child benefit to pregnant mothers.
Our historic commitment to working hard to see Labour in government will continue and we remain proud to be a part of a vibrant student movement.
Labour's first leader, Keir Hardie, addressing crowds. Image by kind permission of the People's History Museum.