Over 1,000 head teachers march through Parliament to protest over school cuts
Over 1,000 head teachers marched on London today, to protest against school cuts.
Using the hashtag #stillnotlistening on social media, headteachers from up and down the country posted photos from the march with school leaders holding placards reading slogans such as, “Education is an investment, not an expense.” The protesters delivered a letter to Downing Street, asking Theresa May for more funding for schools.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said, “I support head teachers marching today because the government’s smoke and mirrors on school funding can’t hide these facts: last year there were 6,000 more pupils, but 5,400 fewer teachers, 2,800 fewer TAs, 1,400 fewer support staff and 1,200 fewer auxiliary staff.”
Funding cuts, which have left schools £2.8bn poorer since 2015, have been blamed for the teaching recruitment and retention crisis, despite few staff being employed in state schools across the board.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “School funding is the public service cash crisis that the government refuses to deal with. It’s still a doorstep issue for voters, and until the Treasury announces more money for education, school leaders, governors, parents and others will continue to make their voices heard.
“Head teachers are not normally the marching kind. So, when they do, it must be serious. They’re sick of being told that there’s more money in education than ever before, when what they see with their own eyes every day proves that it’s just not enough. More and more now, children succeed despite the system, not because of it. And that can’t be right.”
And the NAHT earlier this year urged members to write to their MPs regarding the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF), saying: “When introducing the EYNFF for other early years providers in 2017, the Government agreed to maintain level funding for maintained nursery schools until 2019-20 through a block of supplementary funding of around £59m per year. However, no guarantee on funding has been given after 2020, leaving maintained nursery schools like ours unable to plan and budget for the future.”
The School Cuts campaign group supported the march, saying: “After seven years of budget cuts, there’s nothing left to cut."
For more information on school cuts see naht.org.uk