Wednesday, July 26, 2017
South Londoners to join mass protest against school cuts: Parliament Square rally...

South Londoners to join mass protest against school cuts: Parliament Square rally on Sunday

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From left, Alex Davies (Lib Dems Streatham), Nicole Griffiths (Green Party Streatham) and Chuka Umunna (MP for Streatham), with local school children. Picture: James Hopkirk.
From left, Alex Davies (Lib Dems Streatham), Nicole Griffiths (Green Party Streatham) and Chuka Umunna (MP for Streatham), with local school children. Picture: James Hopkirk.

Lambeth parents, pupils and teachers will join protesters from all over the country, to stage a mass picnic protest in Parliament Square on Sunday.

The Carnival Against the Cuts march and rally will see family campaigners joined by teachers, headteachers and politicians in a family-friendly protest featuring speakers, songs, arts and kids’ fun.

It is part of the Fair Funding for All Schools’ campaign against cuts to school funding. Parents and pupils will be speaking about the situation facing their schools and the campaigns they have set-up locally.

There will be kids’ choirs and other cultural and musical performances from school pupils. The Fair Funding for All Schools campaign is calling on the Government to:

Immediately reverse cuts to school budgets which have taken place since 2015

Protect per pupil funding in real terms over the lifetime of this parliament

Provide the additional funding needed to implement a school funding formula that increases funding for schools in comparatively poorly-funded areas of England without cutting funding per pupil for schools in any other part of the country, so that no school loses out. Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that under current government spending plans, including the additional £4billion announced in the Conservative Party election manifesto, spending per pupil is set to decline by a further three per cent from 2017 to 2022, making a total seven per cent reduction from 2015.

Fionna Martin, Lambeth mum and co-founder of the Fair Funding for All Schools Lambeth campaign, said: “Parents are deeply unhappy about the government’s failure to adequately address the funding crisis facing our schools. Whilst the government is busy saying nothing, damaging cuts are being made to our children’s education. This is unacceptable. We will continue to apply pressure to force the government to provide an urgent remedy. We want increased investment in our schools so that our young people have the skills and knowledge they need and so that our future economy can reach its full potential.”

Other speakers at the even include:

Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary, National Association of headteachers

Layla Moran, MP, Lib Dem education spokeswoman

Jo Yurky, co-founder, Fair Funding for All Schools

Jules White, headteacher of Tanbridge House School in West Sussex, who has led the Worthless West Sussex campaign, galvanising heads from 4,000 schools in 17 counties to write to the government

Mary Sandell, headteacher of Forest School in Wokingham, who recently announced her resignation in protest at school budget cuts

Kathaur Abdi, parent

Amrita Kaur, pupil, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School

Laura Smith MP – the parent campaigner from Cheshire recently elected as Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich

Becky Everett and Jill Goodale – teaching assistants from Derby

Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor, London Borough of Hackney.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We want to make sure all children, regardless of where they live or their background, have a world-class education that unlocks their talent and creates opportunity.

“Thanks to our reforms there are 1.8 million more children in schools rated good or outstanding than in 2010.

“The core schools budget has been protected in real terms since 2010 and is set to rise from £41billion in 2017-18 to over £42billion in 2019-20 with increasing pupil numbers. But we recognise that schools are facing cost pressures and will continue to provide support to help them use their funding in cost effective ways.

“We have also consulted on a national formula for schools to make funding fairer. We received over 25,000 responses to the consultation, which we are analysing in detail and will respond to in due course.”

A Department for Education statement read: “We are supporting schools to use their funding in cost-effective ways, improving the way they buy goods and services. Our published School Buying Strategy is designed to help schools save over £1billion a year by 2019-20 on non-staff spend.”

Chief Reporter | Former news reporter on Daily Mail and Times, former editor in Edinburgh and Barnet. Sports editor and father for 15 years. Once made nine doormats for Harrods entrances. They lasted two years.

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South Londoners to join mass protest against school cuts: Parliament Square rally...