Protestors turned up on a rainy Saturday lunchtime last weekend to vent their anger at school cuts in Birmingham and beyond.
Crowds gathered outside the Council House in Victoria Square. Parents (including teachers) and children heard speeches from Erdington MP Jack Dromey and Birmingham council leader Ian Ward.
Heading into this Thursday's local elections the I newpaper reports that many head teachers are concerned over the level of cuts. The head of Osborne Primary in Erdington has been forced to cut to a four and a half day week "because it saves us £35,000 a year" as cuts to school budgets bite. It's lost 10% of its' budget, due to changes in school funding and increased penison contributions. "We have expenditures forced on us that we didn't use to pay". She said that this means not offering extra curricular activities like swimming or music lessons.
Meanwhile a parent from Kings Heath voiced concerns over increasing class sizes and schools regularly asking for money from parents.
Labour cabinet member Carl Rice said that on election canvasing he found cuts and austerity was continually coming up as an issue.
About school cuts
Schools in Birmingham are under threat – almost all schools face cuts in their budgets. Teaching assistants and teachers are losing their jobs, children are losing the support they need. Schools in England are facing average cuts of 8% per pupil by 2020. Since 2015, £2.8 billion has been cut from school budgets. The average primary school has lost £45,400 in funding and the average secondary school has lost £185,200.
The impact of the cuts is starting to show in the classroom: the latest data reveals that class sizes have grown in 73% of local authorities in England, while secondary schools have had to let go, on average, more than five staff members over the last two years
See how your school is affected. Go to the School Cuts website and find your school on the map or type in its name.
School Cuts is a national campaign calling on Parliament to take immediate action to protect children’s education and stop funding cuts to schools. It is supported by NEU, NAHT, GMB, Unison, Unite and ASCL.