Rescue Our Schools

Layla Moran, John McDonnell and Caroline Lucas are among a cross-party panel of MPs hosting a Parliamentary briefing-with-a-difference tomorrow. At the event, children will come from all over England to tell and sing their stories of how years of damaging underfunding is affecting them and their schools.

We do hope you have signed up for this event..if not, click this link

We have heard today that due to reasons beyond our control unfortunately we are no longer able to use the Boothroyd Room in Portcullis House for our event.

We are pleased to tell you that the event is still going ahead at a different venue, but we have had to change the timings slightly so that we can be accomodated.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the event, there has been a lot of press interest.  We would like to invite you to attend a press call ahead of the event itself.

Please see below for press call details and new event venue and timings:

Press Call:
DATE: WED 10 OCT
TIME: 12.45-1.30PM
VENUE: PARLIAMENT SQUARE
PHOTO/FILMING OPPORTUNITY: CHILDREN, PARENTS, MPs AND ARTWORKSEvent:

DATE: WED 10 OCT
TIME: 2- 3PM
VENUE: COMMITTEE ROOM 16, WESTMINSTER HALL (CROMWELL GREEN ENTRANCE)
EVENT: CHILDREN’S SPEECHES, ARTWORKS, INTERVIEWS WITH CHILDREN, PARENTS AND MPs

We would be delighted if as many of you as possible could join us on Parliament Square for the press call.  Please note that this will not be a protest, but a small and quiet gathering to provide a backdrop for the press.   Please no banners or chanting as we don’t have permission to protest!  After the press call we can make our way to Westminster Hall straight from Parliament Square where we will be checked in.

If you are unable to make the press call beforehand, you are still very welcome to come to the event. Please come to Westminster Hall twenty minutes prior to the start of the event as it can take up to twenty minutes to get through security.

The venue is slightly smaller than the Boothroyd Room and as such we need to keep a check on numbers.  If you are no longer able to make it, we would be very grateful if you could de-register yourself on eventbrite.  If we cannot accommodate everyone in the room itself on the day, please bear with us, an overspill looks great for the press and we will provide copies of the speeches to anyone who couldn’t get into the room.

Please accept our apologies for the short notice, we very much hope to see you on the day!

With best wishes

Gemma (on behalf of Save Our Schools)

 

Layla Moran, John McDonnell and Caroline Lucas are among a cross-party panel of MPs hosting a Parliamentary briefing-with-a-difference on 10 Oct, 2018. At the event, children will come from all over England to tell and sing their stories of how years of damaging underfunding is affecting them and their schools.

Parent campaign group Save Our Schools UK, in conjunction with other parent groups nationally, including Rescue Our Schools, have invited MPs and Peers to the event, and expect MPs from all parties to seize the opportunity to hear directly from children and their families about the impact of the cuts.

“Recent claims on spending and on quality of education from the Department for Education are deliberately misleading, and have yet again led to investigation by the National Statistics Authority,” says Alison Ali, co-founder of the SOS campaign in Brighton & Hove.

Independent figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that funding per pupil had fallen by 8% between 2010 and 2018. There are 66,000 more children in state schools this year than last, but 10,800 fewer staff, including 5,000 fewer teachers and 2,500 fewer teaching assistants. And a recent survey by the National Governors Association shows nearly a third of schools nationwide are already in the red.

“As other state services crumble, schools are expected to do more, with more pupils; yet they’re being given less money, and have fewer teachers,” Ali continues. “A nine-year-old can see the figures don’t add up – it’s time for Damian Hinds and Philip Hammond to do the maths and reverse the damaging cuts before schools slip so far into crisis there’ll be no coming back.”

Children will speak about the different ways the funding crisis affects them, including their heartbreak at losing most of the teaching assistants at their schools; the devastating cuts to SEND provision; the social inequality created by an increasing reliance on parent donations; loss of opportunity as non-core subjects disappear from the curriculum and what it’s like to learn in crumbling buildings.

“We can see with our own eyes the effect that funding cuts are having on our schools,” says Edie Bellamy, a 12-year-old from Derbyshire. “We want to be able to study the subjects we love; we want children who need help to get it. We want all the MPs to ask the government to start funding schools properly so that every child can have a good education.”

Children will bring large-scale artworks and messages to the event, as well as hand-painted pebbles for MPs to keep on their desks as paperweights. Parents will be asking MPs to sign a pledge to lobby hard for a properly funded education system, and will distribute dossiers cataloguing the effects of these real-terms cuts in regions around the country.

The parent-led event, bringing together Save Our Schools, Fairer Funding for All Schools, Rescue our Schools and many new parents groups springing up around the country, comes hot on the heels of more than 1,000 head teachers marching on Downing Street in September, and demonstrates how parents, teachers, heads, support staff, governors and teaching unions are working together to demand a reversal of the funding cuts in this Autumn’s budget.

“Philip Hammond’s predecessor said this year that ‘ministers would need to see a marked and rapid deterioration in standards’ before they stepped in with more cash,” says parent and teacher Kate Taylor, from Birmingham. “Parents can see that deterioration plainly, as our donations prop up school budgets, school buildings spring hundreds of leaks and we hear of 2,000 SEND children being left in limbo with no state education whatsoever.”

Parent groups – and their children – want to know how bad things have to get before the Treasury abandons its crisis-driven approach to funding schools, and provides the money needed to make sure all our children get the education they deserve.

Register for tickets here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-parliamentary-event-by-save-our-schools-uk-tickets-50407290563

#childrenspeakMPslisten #parentsteachersunite

Have you heard of the Big Education Conversation?

Some 100 teachers, heads, parents, business and community leaders gathered at Manchester University to kick off the Big Education Conversation last week. The aim of BEC is to get everyone – students, grandmothers, business people, you name it – discussing what the point of our education system should be. The event saw three ‘provocations’ to get us all thinking: one from David Price, who edited Education Forward, out of which BEC has emerged; Mel Ainscow, Professor of Education at the University of Manchester and an authority on promoting equality in education; and Rosie Clayton, who launched the Reimagining Education project for Big Change. The event seemed timely as the media have got on board with a highly charged discussion about this summer’s GCSEs and A-Levels. Student stress has reportedly gone through the roof. What’s the point of these exams? Do high test scores really equal high standards? It’s time to ask some fundamental questions about what it is all about…

We made sure Rescue Our Schools was at one of the very first roadshows organised by the Labour Party to discuss its proposed National Education Service. The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, gave an opening address.

She made it clear she was open to all fresh ideas on how to guarantee free, life long opportunities to all. One of the key issues to emerge from the discussions – attended by both young and old – was the pernicious effect of high stakes testing in both primary and secondary. Another key concern from the students in the room was the unfairness of student loans and the divisive effects of new university accountability measures which urge students to judge their lecturers.
It was felt that the draft principles of the NES needed to be broadened to embrace the importance of not just knowledge but skills. There were also calls for education to be valued as a vehicle for equality and inclusion.
We would urge anyone who has the roadshow coming their way to get involved.

Did you know York is set to become the worst funded authority in the UK?

An event taking place this Saturday 12th May, aims to look at the effects of this new funding formula on the children of York and also more widely at the impact of the education system on our children.

Sign up here and have your say! Both Jonny Crawshaw and Madeleine Holt from Rescue Our Schools will be there and available to answer any questions you might have about what is going on in education right now.

 

 

RoS attends Summer of Love Arts

SteamCo Summer of Love Art

SteamCo, the social enterprise devoted to bringing science and the arts to schools, launched its Summer of Love Arts at Westminster yesterday – and Rescue Our Schools was there. As befits SteamCo events, the whole thing kicked off with some wacky improvisation from Amy Cooke-Hodgson (see our video on Facebook and Twitter). Then came all sort of speakers, among them Madeleine Holt, Rescue Our Schools’ co-founder, who explained the work of the More than a Score alliance for alternatives to SATs.

Sharon Hodgson, the MP for Sunderland West, hosted the event. She was joined by Shadow Early Years Minister Tracy Brabin, Thelma Walker MP (herself an ex primary head) and fellow education select committee member Gillian Keegan MP, who represents Chichester for the Conservatives.

There was a strong sense of MPs from all parties coming together to fight for more creativity within the curriculum. The highlight was a speech from Andria Zafirakou, the head of art at Alperton Community School, and recent winner of the one million dollar Global Teacher Prize.

SteamCo begin their tour in Brighton on May 7th, before traveling to Leeds, London, Stoke and much more. The tour ends at Camp Bestival in July.

Speaking up for speaking

Emma Hardy MPRoS went to an excellent event organised by the English-Speaking union. We heard from children of all ages about how learning to articulate their feelings and listen respectfully had given them a sense of self-worth and being able to deal with situations as they go out into the world. There are plans to set up a group to promote oracy in schools.

Rochdale girls show great initiative

Rochdale girlsA great initiative from girls in Rochdale: they want an education system that prepares them for the challenges ahead. Let’s get behind it!

https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-rochdale-girls-say-educate-for-our-future-create-a-new-curriculum

RoS at the Young Teachers Conference for the NUT South East Region

Stephen Morgan MP (Labour), speaks up for more funding for education at the Young Teachers Conference for the NUT South East Region.

We were delighted to be invited to speak at the NUT Young Teachers Conference in Brighton, alongside esteemed academic Howard Stevenson and the Portsmouth MP, Stephen Morgan on March 10th.

It was so uplifting to hear so many young teachers’ determination to change the system, and put the needs of young people at the heart of what they do.

The audience was asked to come up with ways to improve our education system in England.

Among the suggestions were:

– get rid of OFSTED

– get rid of standardised testing in primary schools

– get rid of graded lesson observations for teachers

– increase funding and pay

– ensure a broader curriculum

– trust teachers

– abolish results-related pay

– get rid of unqualified teachers and train teachers properly

– value all subjects equally

– trust teacheres

– have an education secretary who is an ex-educator

– value teaching assitants

– ensure staff get proper lunch breaks, a buddy, and access to a gym!

Stephen Morgan spoke about the key elements in Labour’s vision for a National Education Service, inviting the audience to flesh out its ideas. Morgan is on the public accounts committee, so is in a position to influence how the NES is funded and which public bodies run it. He spoke too about his own state education, saying “I believe schools should be rooted in their communities.” Here’s to that.