More than 500 postcards written by West Sussex school children and parents demanding fair funding for schools have been delivered to ministers.
Displaying an ice cream and seaside motif they say: ‘Wish you would hear.....our children need your help’ and were completed at school fairs and events over the summer and collected by campaign group Save our Schools West Sussex.
They highlight the devastating effects the real-term cut in funding is having on schools across the county with personal accounts from parents and students.
Marina Jefferiss and Penny Cook, Worthing parents and SOS campaigners, delivered the postcards to Education Secretary Damian Hinds’ department before attending a Parliamentary event, together with representatives from other parent-led campaign groups, on Wednesday (October 10).
The event featured real-life stories from children across the country about the impact the cuts are having on their education.
Nicolette Alate, whose daughter is nine and has special educational needs explained the reality of the cuts.
She said: “My year has been spent desperately trying to get teaching assistant support reinstated for my child after it was cut in September 2017. With support she thrives, learns and joins in with her peers. Without it, the opposite happens. Instead of being included she faces exclusion, a negative spiral begins and impacts on us all.”
West Sussex school leaders, who have been calling for fairer funding through the Worth Less? campaign for more than three years, were among those who travelled up to London.
Meanwhile school spending claims made by the Department for Education are being investigated by the UK Statistics Authority, the watchdog which prevents the misleading use of figures.
Marina said: “It’s vital that we continue to highlight the impact the cuts are having on our schools and challenge the rhetoric that funding has been increased.
“Research has shown that funding per pupil has fallen by about eight per cent in real terms since 2009/10 and our children are experiencing the reality of this every day in their classrooms. We need to stand up for our children, so they get the education they deserve.”
Pressure to increase school funding will continue with a national day of action on Friday October 19 when schoolchildren, parents and teachers will Floss4Funding across the UK.
Visit the campaign group’s website for more details.