Parents protest at Parliament
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