On Saturday 21 April, campaigners will be meeting in Swindon Town Centre to raise awareness about cuts to school funding in the town.
The event is part of a national day of action on school cuts coordinated by parents groups, education unions and other education stakeholders and will be the latest in a series of events around education funding in Swindon. Locally, teachers and supporters have been door to door leafleting and holding events in town centre to raise awareness and build support for the campaign.
Based on government data, schools across the country will have faced a real terms budget cut of £2.8 billion between 2015 and 2020. In Swindon, the figure is £3.1 million.
Division Secretary of Swindon National Education Union, Debbie Brown said; ‘There is a crisis in school funding, which is impacting on the ability of teachers to teach. A recent survey by TES showed that 73% of teachers are regularly having to buy stationary such as pens, pencils and board markers. 58% have bought books for pupils and 43% buy art materials. Teachers have always reached into their pockets to add an extra ‘wow factor’ to their lessons, but cuts to school funding have become so severe that we are increasingly expected to provide the basics. A fantastic campaign by education workers, parents and the community has already pressured the government to give back £1.8 billion of funding to schools, but we need to keep the pressure up to make sure that our pupils receive the education that they deserve.’
Assistant division secretary Pete Smith Said; ‘In the middle of a national scandal over runaway executive pay in education, it is education workers and pupils, especially the most vulnerable, who are losing out. Cuts to funding have contributed to the narrowing of the curriculum, a lack of enriching educational opportunities, and resources and staff being drawn away from pupils with special educational needs or other barriers to education.’
The website schoolcuts.org.uk enables parents and education staff to find out how much their school is due to lose in real terms.
Campaigners will be meeting at Wharf Green in town centre at 11.30am on Saturday 21 April.