Next Steps For SOS West Sussex
We recently got in touch with our local councillors to share where we are with our campaign for fair funding and to encourage them to get involved. This is what we said.
We are getting in touch with you, following our very positive recent 'Next Steps' campaign meeting, that involved many key stakeholders in the area, including parents, headteachers, teachers, local councillors and school governors. SOS West Sussex and our large and growing group of supporters feel increasingly frustrated by the lack progress at government level to address the current funding crisis in schools.
More schools than ever falling into debt
We are sure you will have seen the recent report by the Education Policy Institute, which found that more of our schools are falling into debt as funding is not keeping pace with increasing costs and inflationary pressures. The number of secondary schools that have gone into deficit over the last four years has trebled and the proportion of primary schools in deficit is also rising significantly; and this is before schools have even attempted to give their hard-working teachers the 1% pay rise they so rightly deserve.
The impact of this situation is extremely damaging, and early data from the NAHT’s “Breaking Point” report shows that almost 80% of school leaders are reducing the hours of teaching assistants, who provide such vital support to our children in the classroom.
The impact of inadequate funding
No doubt their full report will lay bare the desperate situation in our schools. We are only too aware of the destructive impact that inadequate funding is having and have personal experience of:
the loss of vital teaching assistants and pastoral support
the loss of SEN support provision
a reduced and compromised curriculum
requests for more and more parent contributions
negative effect on our children's emotional wellbeing
teachers leaving the profession due to stress and workload and schools struggling to recruit
In response to this damaging and unacceptable reality, SOS West Sussex is ramping up our engagement with other concerned stakeholders.
Save Our Schools (SOS) aims for 2018
Our key aims this year are to get more parents involved in our campaign for adequate funding for all schools, focusing on:
publicising the real impact of cuts on schools
Activities for Spring 2018
anonymous headteacher survey to evidence impact of cuts
protest march on 21st April, 2-4pm Worthing town centre and chalking messages on the prom
fresh approach to social media to extend reach
Our invitation to you to support our schools
We not only wish to make you aware of our intentions but also to invite you to engage with us and support us to deliver meaningful change for the schools in West Sussex. We look forward to sharing the results of our survey with you and we hope this helps you to understand the situation that the area’s committed headteachers are facing on the ground.
We need your action now to deliver adequate and fair funding; an investment in our children's and future children's education, to help them become the kind of adults we all need for the future.
Will you write to and lobby your Cabinet colleagues to address this urgent issue? The current funding levels for education are not meeting costs.
Save Our Schools (SOS) West Sussex