Parents and staff lobby Stoke Newington School governors' meeting in protest against funding cuts
PUBLISHED: 13:34 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:11 01 June 2017
Parents and staff took part in a joint lobby of a Stoke Newington School governors' meeting in protest against education funding cuts.
Protestors – armed with placards – lined up outside the Clissold Road school on May 20 to urge governors to take a stand against the threat of members of staff losing their job over the next three years and or taking “significant” wage cuts.
Under the government’s National Funding Formula proposal the school is set to lose £1.4 million of its budget by 2019 – the equivalent £1,107 per pupil over the same period.
Louise James, a parent of a student in Year 8 at the school who penned a letter to the governors, said: “These cuts are damaging. We can no longer let our head teacher stand alone to address the diminishing resources and having to go through the unpleasant business of having to tell staff members she values that they are no longer economically viable.
“We need to take the pressure off them as parents and you as a collective body of representatives of this school to take a stand yourselves.
“Instead of just passing on the limited budgets from central government and leaving our heads to stand alone and to take the blame for the cuts, let’s shift the onus onto the local authority to take the lead instead to fight these cuts.”
In response to the lobbying, headteacher Annie Gammon, said governors are consulting with staff internally on how best to spend school finances, and that the body has passed a motion in strong support of Parents Against Cuts.
“In the current economic and political climate there are challenges and financial choices which have to be made in order for us to achieve this,” she said.
“We are looking at all areas of the school’s expenditure and have recently saved over £200,000 a year from our building maintenance contract.
The proposals do include, amongst other things, some changes to jobs and a very small number of potential job losses. We recognise the impact that has on the individuals affected. We are committed to supporting them and to ensuring that fair and proper processes are followed.
Wherever possible we will redeploy staff. Teaching jobs are not at risk at this point and there is no loss of subjects on offer.”