United against education cuts
Pupils, teachers and parents came to Westminster yesterday to lobby MPs against cuts in public spending that will hit new school building plans across the country. It was the first significant action against the new government.
Banners from teaching unions decorated the space outside Central Halls, as pupils and teachers joined together to protest against the Coalition government’s decision to scrap the Building Schools for the Future programme.
Maxine Brundell from NASUWT, the largest teaching union, explained that students and staff from Dagenham Park Church of England School needed the funding and the opportunities that everyone else was getting.
“It doesn’t look like the Building Schools for the Future Programme is going to be happening and the funding is going to be cut. So we are hoping that by being here today we will show that we need the school. The kids are underprivileged but the money is going to these Academies and the kids who need the facilities aren’t getting it.”
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: "The lobby and rally has captured the public mood of deep concern about the Coalition government's programme of cuts
"These cuts will inflict major damage on education provision in schools already in a dire physical condition and the public is right to be angry.
"The Government's unilateral decision to axe school building projects without consultation and any published criteria to make clear why some building programmes have been stopped, has caused a widespread revolt.
"The Secretary of State's publication of a series of inaccurate lists of schools affected has added insult to injury.
"Run down, dilapidated buildings are not being replaced while schools in good repair are getting brand new buildings just because they are becoming Academies.
"There is a direct link between these decisions and the Academies Bill being rushed through Parliament, also on Monday, using procedures normally reserved for anti-terrorist laws.
Fight the cuts
"These cuts are not necessary. They are being made not to save money but to fund the Government's ideological scheme for elitist academies."
The lobby and rally was supported by other teaching and public sector unions.
19 July 2010