Barnet parents encouraged to sign petition calling for fairer school funding
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Parents across Barnet are being encouraged to sign a petition calling for fairer funding to schools across the borough.
On Monday the Department for Education revealed that local authorities and academy trusts will receive a share of £1.4 billion to invest in improving their buildings, but the National Union of Teachers is still predicting that there will be £565 less to spend on each student in Barnet by 2019.
According to the union’s projected figures – which can be found for each individual school at schoolcuts.org.uk – the borough will have lost 702 teachers between 2013 and 2019.
A petition, which has presently garnered more than 500 signatures, has been launched by Barnet’s Labour party calling for fairer funding to schools across the borough.
Meetings have been held at Martin Primary School and All Saints Primary School – featuring presentations by union members, councillors, parents, governors and teachers – to raise awareness about how schools could be affected by the cuts.
Barnet councillor Barry Rawlings, who is leader of the council’s Labour party, said: “When experienced teachers leave, schools might only be able to afford newly qualified teachers.
“Then we have the fact that special needs children have been hit hardest by these cuts, and those are the children that need the help the most.
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“The government wants to invest in grammar schools, but surely we have to get the basics right?”
Hampstead School headteacher Jacques Szemalikowski added: “We want to change lives and invest in the future, but for the first time in my 14 years as head, we no longer have the tools to do the job.”
Haringey mum Jo Yurky co-founded the Fair Funding for All Schools campaign last year and believes it is vital that awareness is spread across Barnet about how funding cuts will affect schools across the borough.
“Barnet parents contacted our national campaign group after its council voted to support the cuts to their schools,” she said.
“Parents in Barnet told us that they were already anxious about school funding and now feel completely unsupported.
“Like most people, I believed funding for schools was protected because the government said it was, but now it seems that ministers are not being honest with us.
“Teachers and headteachers have been dismissed as scaremongers but, as parents, we’re seeing the real impact in classrooms across the country.
“They are pleading for clarification as their children are facing a devastating attack on their education.”
The petition can be found at barnetlabour.org.uk.
An 8pm meeting will be held at East Barnet School on Tuesday, April 25, to further inform parents living across the borough about proposed funding cuts.