• SOSWestSussex

Kids And Parents Support West Sussex Head Teachers Marching on Downing Street

Parents and school children across West Sussex are backing local headteachers who are marching in London today (Friday 28 September) for fair school funding – with local kids’ head standing in support of their heads.

A number of local heads have joined more than 1,000 school leaders from across the country taking part in the Worthless campaign march on Downing Street, led by Jules White, Headteacher of Tanbridge House school in Horsham.

It comes as schools across the county returning from the summer break, face nearly £9 million of cuts over the coming school year. This is leading to staff losses, a narrowing curriculum, inadequate support for children with special educational needs and a crisis in teacher recruitment.

Headstanding for Heads

Local parents are throwing their weight behind the action as they are experiencing the reality of the funding cuts on the ground. Local school children are doing their bit too by headstanding to show how much this action means to them.

Mel Pickett from the West Sussex Save Our Schools parent campaign group said:

“The funding situation in our schools has grown steadily worse over recent years and many are now at breaking point. Teachers and Teaching Assistants are leaving and not being replaced, schools are asking parents to pay for after school clubs and to stock libraries. Some are also making pleas for help to replace school equipment and fix buildings. This can’t be right and it’s our children who are paying the price.”

A local mum, whose daughter is nine and has special educational needs, explained the reality of the cuts. She said:

“My year has been spent desperately trying to get teaching assistant support reinstated for my child after it was cut in September 2017. With support she thrives, learns and joins in with her peers. Without it, the opposite happens. Instead of being included she faces exclusion, a negative spiral begins and impacts on us all.”

Despite the Department for Education maintaining that school funding is at record levels, a recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies showed that funding per pupil has fallen by 8% in real terms between 2009/10 and 2017/18.

The Education Policy Institute also highlighted that many parts of England face a severe shortage of teachers, in a report published in August this year.

Local Headteachers Speak Out

John Gadd, headteacher of Thomas a Becket Primary School, is among those taking part in today’s march. He said:

"This is too important to give up on. The next generation, the children currently in our schools (& those not there yet) need us to stand up and continue to demand fair and adequate funding so that they can each enjoy the best education possible - our future depends on it.

"I am proud to be standing side by side with 1,000 amazing headteacher colleagues in Parliament Square, united in our continuing and relentlessly reasonable request for fair funding so we can give our students the best possible start in life."

What next?

  • To get involved in supporting our local schools, go to Join Us

  • To speak to a member of the SOS West Sussex team, go to Contact Us

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