Hackney parents mobilise against threat of cuts to schools across borough

A banner was unveiled outside Kingsmead Primary School on Monday afternoon protesting against the cu

A banner was unveiled outside Kingsmead Primary School on Monday afternoon protesting against the cuts to schools across Hackney. - Credit: Archant

Parents across Hackney are mobilising against the threat of cuts to schools across the borough.

Hackney’s branch of Fair Funding for All Schools – a parent-led campaign originally launched in Haringey – has designed banners which were unveiled outside the borough’s schools on Monday to highlight the impact of the cuts.

London’s schools are facing greater losses due to the government’s proposed national funding formula that i seeking to redistribute funding across the country.

Under these policies, Hackney schools would face an estimated 22.3 per cent loss or £914 per-pupil reduction by 2020.

Louise Nichols has the task of balancing the books in her role as executive headteacher of Kingsmead, Gayhurst and Mandeville primary schools.

“We need to fight the terrible threat of the cuts,” she said. “80 to 90pc of our budget is down to staffing, so the only way we can really balance the budget is by reducing staff.

“One way to bring in money to schools is more pupils, but most schools are full.”

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The parent-led campaign is calling on the government to protect per pupil funding in line with manifesto promises and to make sure no school loses out from the national funding formula.

Tara Mack, who has a son at Daubeney Primary School, told the Gazette: “There tends to be a feeling of helplessness among parents, but we can win this fight.

“I think it is bizarre the government’s policy of taking funding from some children and giving it to others. Hackney schools have gone from the bottom to the top in the last decade – it is almost like they are being punished for their success.

“It’s important for us to come together for the sake of our children’s education.”

In response to the threat of cuts, parents, students and teachers will come together to form a ‘big assembly’ at 3.30pm on Friday, May 26 in parks across Hackney – including London Fields and Clissold Park.

There will also be an education debate at Stoke Newington School between 7pm and 9pm on Thursday, May 25. This public event will invite prospective parliamentary candidates from all main parties for Hackney North and Stoke Newington to debate the national funding formula.