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Crawley Headteachers march on Downing Street

Heads from Crawley schools will join hundreds of other Headteachers protesting funding cuts at Downing Street.

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St Wilfrids Head Michael Ferry along with other Headteachers from Crawley join the protest at Downing Street. [Image: Michael Ferry]

Today (28 September), Headteachers from across England will engage in an unprecedented protest, organised by Horsham Head Jules White, over school funding and teacher recruitment and retention.

Around a thousand Headteachers are expected to gather at Downing Street in support of the campaign group ‘Worth Less?’.

After three years of relentless campaigning, those involved say they remain ‘extremely concerned that we are unable to lead and serve schools and local communities in the way that we all wish to.’

More news: Latest figures reveal 11% of Crawley adults are smokers

Campaigners say schools ‘are fundamentally hamstrung by an overall lack of funding and a chronic shortage of teachers and support staff’.

Michael Ferry, Headteacher at St Wilfrid’s School in Crawley, is joining the protest. He said:

“This isn’t political, this is fact. An 8 per cent cut in the last 8 years, in real terms. Not enough staff. Not enough money. Counselling services are no good.”

“Pastoral staff, weakened. Opportunities for young people – destroyed. This is not a political act, this is fact. Please support the Headteachers today.”

The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies confirmed that, in real terms, school spending per pupil has fallen by 8% since 2010. In August 2018 the independent Education Policy Institute stated that schools in many parts of England face a severe ‘shortage of teachers’.

Headteachers from Crawley schools getting ready to join the protest at Downing Street. [Image: Michael Ferry]

Ifield Community College Principal, Rob Corbett will also be joining the protest. He also highlighted how cuts to funding impact opportunities for young people:

“Headteachers are serious, professional people. They do their job because they care about the young people of our country. The cuts made to our funding stops us from being able to give young people opportunities that they need. It’s seriously hurting them.

“We’re gathering to get together today in an unprecedented way, to make our representatives in parliament understand the impact of the decisions that they’ve made.”

A statement from the ‘Worth Less?’ campaign reads:

“Worth Less? has repeatedly requested that the Treasury and Department for Education meaningfully address these two crucial issues. These requests have largely been ignored.

“In light of this, we feel that we have no alternative but to deliver a plea to the chancellor and Secretary of State for Education to support schools, families and children in three fundamental ways:

• Fund all schools adequately and reverse the real terms cuts that have happened over the last 8 years
• Make an immediate £400 million cash injection to support the beleaguered SEND/High Needs Block
• Meaningfully improve real term per pupil funding for the post 16 education sector”

Headteachers from across England and Wales gather in Parliament Square. [Image: Michael Ferry]

St Wilfrids Head, Michael Ferry (second from left) with other Sussex Headteachers meeting in Parliament Square for today’s protest. [Image: Michael Ferry]

Crawley MP Henry Smith says it is ‘regrettable’ that Heads chose to demonstrate on a school day as opposed to a day in the summer holidays or October half-term.

Henry said:

“I continue to join with Crawley parents and teachers in calling for more school resources, as under the old grant system introduced when Tony Blair was Prime Minister, local pupil funding was about half that of students in London.

“I welcome the new National Funding Formula which will see West Sussex schools receive an extra £28 million by 2020, with Crawley getting on average getting an additional 10 percent. However, as a former Chair of the West Sussex Learning Disability Forum and current British Dyslexia Association Vice-President, I particularly want to see more special educational needs provision.

“Whilst important to campaign it’s regrettable that heads have taken a day off school to demonstrate in London; we’ve just had summer holidays and half-term is later in October, these would’ve been more appropriate times, I’m sure many parents would agree.”

Education

Crawley school celebrates 4 star rating by national organisation

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Photo: Michael, Asad, Jasmyn, Rebecca, Jiya, Karolis, Riccardo and Mrs Loftus.

The Primary school in Crawley is celebrating after a national schools organisation rated them 4 stars.

The SchoolGuide.co.uk features information on over 34,000 primary and secondary schools across the UK.

Parents can search the guide to find a multitude of information about any school including test results.

Now the Crawley school is celebrating after the school gained such a high rating.

You read more about it all at www.schoolguide.co.uk

Head Teacher Tobias Melia said:

“We’re delighted to achieved the 4 Star Rating again.  It’s testament to the hard work and commitment of all of our community; Children, Teachers, TAs, Parents and Governors.”

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