Par­ents protest at Par­lia­ment

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

PAR­ENTS from Wok­ing­ham bor­ough joined more than a thou­sand oth­ers as part of a lobby to MPs over school bud­get cuts last week.

An­gry par­ents de­scended on West­min­ster for a day of ac­tion on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 24 or­gan­ised by School Cuts, a coali­tion of unions rep­re­sent­ing teach­ing and sup­port staff – and par­ent cam­paign groups Fair Fund­ing for All Schools, Res­cue Our Schools and Save Our Schools.

The goal of the day was for MPs to call on the Chan­cel­lor to use the bud­get in Novem­ber to al­lo­cate new fund­ing for schools, ad­dress­ing the fall­ing lev­els of per pupil fund­ing seen since 2015.

Wok­ing­ham bor­ough is no­to­ri­ously one of the low­est funded school dis­tricts in the coun­try, and lo­cal cam­paigner Annabel Yox­all was among those cam­paign­ing in Lon­don. She met with Wok­ing­ham MP John Red­wood to dis­cuss the prob­lem fac­ing lo­cal schools.

She said: “John Red­wood showed us fig­ures of the small per­cent­age in­creases due to Wok­ing­ham schools. How­ever, this in­crease is not due to new money be­ing added na­tion­ally. We have ex­pressed our con­cern that although it is en­cour­ag­ing to see a small in­crease in fund­ing for our schools, shuf­fling money round doesn’t re­ally help any­one and we need to have sig­nif­i­cantly more in the na­tional fund in or­der that it can be dis­trib­uted fairly to all schools.

“The in­creases we are due to re­ceive will make lit­tle dif­fer­ence in real terms. The pres­sures of staff cut­backs, re­duced cur­ricu­lum, in­creas­ing class sizes and lack of re­sources will also still be there.

“We gave a draft tem­plate of the School Cuts let­ter to the Chan­cel­lor to John Red­wood and asked that he write to him, ask­ing for £2bn to be added to the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion in the Au­tumn bud­get. This will re­verse the last two years of fund­ing cuts in or­der that schools can be funded fairly.

“In sup­port of our schools we would ap­pre­ci­ate it if as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble would write or email the Chan­cel­lor, Phillip Ham­mond MP, be­fore the Au­tumn bud­get on 22nd Novem­ber and re­quest the same. We must con­tinue to be a loud voice for our chil­dren.”

Donna, Maisie and Frankie Jack­son, Annabel Yox­all and He­len Power at West­min­ster for their school fund­ing protest

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