The petition , set up by head teachers in Gateshead and signed by thousands of NEU members, has been listed for debate in Parliament on 4 March. It would be great to see the petition – which has been signed more than 76,000 times – get to 100,000 signatures by the time of the debate.
We encourage you to contact your MP and urge them to speak in the debate, passing on real stories of the impact of cuts in their constituency. We are sending all MPs a model survey which they can send to head teachers to capture this information. The more teachers who contact MPs with their stories the better.
In recent days, Westminster Hall debates on funding cuts in Gloucestershire and Cheshire and SEND funding have seen politicians of all parties unite to highlight the scale of the crisis and to call for better funding, so now is a perfect time to keep up the pressure.
On Tuesday 23 October the School Cuts coalition delivered a petition signed by more than 34,000 people to the Department for Education (DfE), demanding more funding for children and young people with SEND in schools. The hand in was live streamed to supporters on Facebook Live and covered widely on social media and in the local press.
We were joined on the day by more than 60 people, including representatives from the NEU, ASCL, NAHT and Unison, as well as a number of SEND parent groups and teacher activists. Several local councillors joined us at the event to highlight the pressure local authorities face through cuts to their local services for children with SEND, and marched with us under banners displaying the message “parents, schools and councillors united against the #SENDcrisis”.
Before the petition was delivered, School Cuts hosted a well-attended briefing where speakers from the unions addressed the crowd, including NEU joint general secretary Mary Bousted, ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton, Unison head of education Jon Richards, and former NAHT president Anne Lyons, demanding a fair deal for our SEND children. We were also joined by Labour MPs Mike Kane, Emma Hardy and James Frith, as well as education spokesperson for the Green Party, Vix Lowthion, who gave rousing speeches about the importance of providing a good education for all.
Delaying until the last possible moment before Westminster shut for the summer, Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced that some teachers will receive a pay increase of up to 3.5% this September.
It’s important that everyone understands what this means for our schools.
Here are the 3 things you need to know:
1. The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies confirmed that for 60% of teachers, this pay “increase” actually represents a real-terms pay cut. As a school community of parents, pupils and staff alike, we need to continue standing together with the teachers that teach our children.
2. The Treasury has not released any new money to fund this. That means the Department for Education will have to raid the needed £500m from other parts of education spending. Then schools will have to fund the rest from already stretched budgets. Until Chancellor Philip Hammond releases new school funding, the Government is robbing Peter to pay Paul — but both Peter and Paul are broke.
3. This won’t bring back the teachers and TAs our schools have already lost. We know schools lost 5,366 teachers in the last year while pupil numbers grew by 136,544*. As the school funding crisis deepens, this announcement does nothing to protect vital staff whose jobs are still on the line.
*Figures obtained from the Department for Education School Workforce Census 2017.
The MU, with whom we have a partnership and joint membership arrangement, is researching the challenges relating to access to music education, workforce fragmentation and contradictory government policy. There are four surveys, aimed at:
Teachers with a responsibility for music who work in schools.
Instrumental music teachers who work in music services, hubs or as independent teachers.
Managers of music services, music education hubs or other organisations that deliver music education to young people.
Head teachers of primary, secondary or special schools.
We encourage you to complete the surveys that are relevant to you here.
The confidential information collected will form the basis of a report and future advocacy.
On 3 July Kevin Courtney will be joining, Kiri Tunks, Martin Powell-Davies and over 80 London Councillors to discuss school funding and what councils can do to help us in this campaign.
We are in the process of looking to develop an NEU Councillor Network. If you know of Councillors that would be interested in signing up to hear more from us, they can sign up here.
If you would be interested in a Councillor event in your area, please get in touch via email@example.com