Hundreds of children from across Worthing have written Christmas wishes to Government ministers asking for extra school funding for the new year.
The messages were written on the back of Christmas tree baubles featuring Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, sporting festive Father Christmas hats.
They were organised and collected by Save our Schools West Sussex, with the children’s wishes for funding for more than just ‘little extras’ decorating a Christmas tree.
They feature a range of messages from students about what their schools need, including basics like pencils, pens and glue sticks, lights that work, library books, dictionaries, sports equipment and opportunities to go on more educational school trips.
Mel Pickett, from SOS West Sussex said: “These poignant messages lay bare how the funding crisis is impacting on our local schools. The kids can see their teachers having to scrimp and save just to make ends meet and continue to provide a high standard of education.
“Our local teachers are doing their best, but the reality is that funding per pupil has fallen by some eight per cent in real terms since 2009/10. We need the Government to act to provide an appropriate and sustainable level of funding for all schools and invest properly in the education of our young people.”
Jules Whites, headteacher at Tanbridge House School in Horsham who leads the Worthless? campaign, added: “Schools and families are crying out for adequate funding in 2019. The noise is deafening and it’s now up to the government to invest in all of our futures rather than offering piecemeal scraps that don’t satisfy anyone.”
Save our Schools West Sussex has worked tirelessly throughout 2018 to campaign for fairer school funding, alongside West Sussex headteachers and other parent-led groups around the country. The baubles have been sent to the Secretary of State for Education.