Our future has been sold out because Tory policy demands it.
That is the message behind the protest at Downing Street by more than 2,000 head teachers.
The Conservative government doesn’t care because rich Tories can afford to send their kids to private schools – not that it helps them much, considering the lack of quality evidenced by recent graduates. Look at Boris Johnson (if you can bear it).
So our children are forced to bear the brunt of Tory cut after Tory cut, and their head teachers have been forced into the impossible situation of having to try to balance the books when it is impossible to do so without harming their pupils’ education – and jeopardising the future of the United Kingdom.
You see, every school-age child whose education suffers today is a future doctor, nurse, teacher, firefighter, captain of industry, leader in the fields of science and technology or pillar of the community who won’t achieve their potential because of the selfishness of the obscenely rich.
So enjoy the fruits of your tax cuts, all you Tory-voting idlers. You’ll be dining on ashes one day soon.
More than two thousand headteachers skipped class for an “unprecedented” march on Westminster demanding increased funding for schools.
School leaders from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland met in Parliament Square before marching to Downing Street where a letter was delivered demanding more money.
The protest – organised by grassroots campaign group Worth Less? – saw thousands of school leaders collectively take the day off work to ensure their voices were heard.
Headteachers on the rally warned of collapsing school buildings, significant cuts to teaching staff, bigger class sizes and a loss of support for the most vulnerable pupils amid budget pressures.
And more parents are being asked to pay for essentials – such as loo roll, paper and pens – while an increasing number of schools are considering a four-and-a-half day school week, unions said.
Of course the Conservative government’s Department for Education tells a different story – of huge amounts of money going into schools, with advice on how to cut non-staffing costs and government-backed deals on equipment and energy.
A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “There is more money going into schools than ever before, rising to a record £43.5bn by 2020 – 50 per cent more in real terms per pupil than in 2000.
“The OECD has recently confirmed that the UK is the third highest spender on education in the world, spending more per pupil than countries including Germany, Australia and Japan.
“Every school attracts more funding per pupil through the National Funding Formula, high needs funding has risen to over £6bn this year and the 3.5 per cent pay rise we announced for classroom teachers on the main pay range is backed by £508m government funding.
“We know that we are asking schools to do more, which is why we are helping them to reduce the £10bn spent each year on non-staffing costs, providing government-backed deals for things like printers and energy suppliers that are helping to save millions of pounds.”
But you’ll have noticed that none of the information from the DfE refers to any independent research on the amount of money needed per pupil to provide even the most basic education.
Does the £508 million of funding set aside for a 3.5 per cent teachers’ pay rise actually meet the cost of the increase, or will some of it have to come from other budgets?
An increase of 50 per cent more in real terms per pupil than in 2000 means nothing if it isn’t enough.
Labour’s shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, put the right perspective on it:
This unprecedented action by head teachers is a clear sign of the desperate struggle they now face to provide a decent education while balancing the books. The funding crisis in our schools hasn't gone away. https://t.co/vxhqlnfc2P
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) September 28, 2018
As did Dr Lauren Gavaghan:
Imagine a UK where a thousand head teachers did not feel forced to protest on Downing Street, where schools had ample resources, where doctors did not have to go on strike for the safety of their patients, where nurses, firefighters, police were paid what they deserved.
— Dr Lauren Gavaghan (@DancingTheMind) September 28, 2018
And Rachael Swindon:
Hundreds of headteachers are marching on Downing Street due to the chronic underfunding of schools. This is how bad it has got. You simply can’t educate children on the cheap. They are our future doctors, nurses, teachers and firefighters and the Tories have sold them out.
— Rachael Swindon #GTTO (@Rachael_Swindon) September 28, 2018
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