Italian middle and high school students, have taken to the streets again today to protest the education 'reforms' of the Matteo Renzi administration. Demonstrations took place across Italy to mark the beginning of the new school year, including in Florence, Bologna and Rome. They held banners with slogans like 'Watch out Renzi, this is just the beginning!', 'We are not asking for the future we are taking our present.'

School students say that schooling is being modeled on the needs of business and schools are being treated like businesses, which will give unbridled power to school administrations. The reforms will bring in performance related pay for teachers, making them totally subservient to the management. Meanwhile students will be fed prefabricated gobbets of knowledge and forced to do as they are told - in other words prepared to be an uncritical and flexible labour force. 

In May, one in four school students refused to take the standardised tests called 'invalsi', which they say are designed to enable them to be able to 'pull the lever or press the button' at the right moment, rather than questioning the world in which they live. Teachers also mounted campaigns against the tests which are being used to evaluate schools and teachers under the ironically named 'good school' reforms brought in by the Renzi government, which will also see more privatisation and unpaid apprenticeships. The students say they will be used to work free for employers and be taking the jobs of other workers.

The young people's protests were often met by riot police. In Rome they were deployed in huge numbers to prevent the students from entering the Ministry of Education. Similar police actions happened in Bologna where the school students were trying to reach the offices of the local business organisation to protest the apprenticeship scheme. 

School students are planning more actions to oppose the 'reforms'.