Parents march against cuts
Protest is joined by pupils, teachers and classroom support staff as Islington schools face having to make cuts totalling £15m by 2019
21 July, 2017 — By Koos Couvée
Islington protesters on Sunday’s march
MORE than 150 Islington parents, pupils, teachers and classroom support staff joined a colourful march against school funding cuts through central London on Sunday.
The protest, organised by the national, parent-led Fair Funding For All Schools campaign and supported by teaching unions, ended with a rally in Parliament Square.
Hundreds of children and parents chanted slogans condemning school cuts as they held up banners reading “Schools just wanna have funds”. Mother-of-two Flora Page, from Old Street, whose eldest daughter attends Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Angel, said: “London schools 10 years ago were nowhere as good as they are now, but that’s at risk as teaching assistants are made redundant and class sizes get bigger. My little one is in reception and has all that to come.”
The National Audit Office estimates that, without additional money, Islington schools will have to make cuts totalling £15m by 2019 – the equivalent of the salaries of 400 teachers – due to a range of factors, including increased pension contributions and planned changes to national funding allocations.
On Monday, education secretary Justine Greening promised £1.3bn in funding for schools in England, raiding the budget for free schools and new buildings to pay for the rise – but it is unclear to what extent this will offset cuts in Islington.
The Fair Funding For All Schools campaign is calling on the government to immediately reverse cuts to school budgets that have taken place since 2015 and to protect per-pupil funding in real terms over the lifetime of this Parliament.