Having two sons at primary school and a daughter who is just completing her teacher training, all in High Peak, I know just how stretched our local schools are already, and how devastating the further cuts will be.
Opposing the school cuts is a central part of my campaign and I have set up a High Peak petition to oppose the cuts for our local schools which I’d be very grateful if you could sign and share:
Labour will re-allocate the billions promised to unneeded new Free Schools – where the National Audit Office says it will cost £2.5bn just to purchase the land for them – into our existing schools to reverse the Conservatives’ cuts and make sure all schools have the resources they need. We will also give transitional relief to all schools set to lose out from the new National Funding Formula.
Labour will also:
- Reduce class sizes to under 30 for all 5, 6 and 7 year olds, and seek to extend that as resources allow.
- Introduce free school meals for all primary school children, paid for removing the VAT exemption on private school fees.
- End the public sector pay cap and re-introduce national pay bargaining for teachers and school support staff to ensure they are paid fairly.
- Extend school-based counselling to all schools to improve children’s mental health.
- Embed Special Needs training more substantially into initial teacher training so that children and their parents can be properly supported. (Very close to my heart as my daughter has dyslexia and is committed to using her own experience of struggling to help the children she teaches.)
- Abandon the Conservatives’ plans for base-line assessments and review the curriculum and assessment, starting with key stage 1 and 2 SATs, looking at the world’s most successful education systems which use continuous assessment to avoid stress for children and teaching for the test.
I hope that assures you that I personally and the Labour Party as a whole are completely committed to giving our schools the funding they need to support staff to give our children the best possible start in life – in terms of both education and happiness.