Campaign Against School Funding Cuts Meeting 24th May 2017
About 30 people attended the meeting held at Essex Primary. This included teachers, governors, parents, TAs, 2 head teachers and NTA officers. Many present indicated that they would like to be further involved.
The meeting was first addressed by Louise Regan, NUT president who spoke about the problems schools were facing: new costs year on year with increased pension contributions; the apprenticeship levy; the increase in buy back services from LAs as they become squeezed. The cuts would impact by reducing curriculum choice – something that is already happening – arts subjects likely to be the first to go, the very subjects that often get students to school. Support staff would be reduced and class sizes increased leading to further increase in workload for teachers. She had heard of one head teacher who had run a marathon to raise money for school essentials! Her message was clear – tell everyone you know, leaflet your road, talk to your neighbours.
Letters of support were read out from Stephen Timms [ parliamentary candidate for East Ham] and Umesh Desai [local councillor and member of the GLA]. The suspension of electioneering in the wake of the Manchester bombing precluded their attendance]
Our divisional secretary, Peter Smith, demonstrated the potential damage of the conservative government’s proposed F40 funding by using the www.schoolcuts.org.uk website and keying in different schools in Newham. This also demonstrated that academy status is no protection against the changes to funding formula. He reminded the audience that the overall expenditure on the funding formula was being cut and thus dividing up a smaller cake.
There were questions of clarification from the floor especially related to teachers’ terms and conditions. A suggestion was made to divide the borough into quarters to facilitate leafleting and campaigning. A parent suggested a Newham leaflet that was simple to read and understand for those with limited English.
A minute’s silence was held in respect to those killed, injured and bereaved as a result of the Manchester bombing.
Posters, stickers and leaflets were available for people to take away.
Peg Probett, chair, NTA president.