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School funding protestors send open letter to academics

Parents at a primary school in the city have sent an open letter to Cambridge academics asking for their support for a campaign to increase funding for education.

Donna Ferguson (8105388)
Donna Ferguson (8105388)

The group from St Matthew’s Primary School are organising a march from Parkers Piece to the Guildhall on April 1 to highlight funding cuts that schools are facing.

They are asking academics to turn out for the march in solidarity with the children and families of St Matthew’s and other schools in Cambridge who are all facing drastic cuts to their budgets.

Here is the letter in full, signed by Donna Ferguson and other parents at the school:

“As many of you are aware, schools across England are facing dramatic reductions in funding, creating unprecedented pressure, with some schools in Cambridge facing a reduction close to £200,000.

A group of parents and carers at St Matthew’s Primary School is trying to help. Along with our children, we are going to march to the Guildhall on April Fool’s Day to highlight the “foolish” funding cuts schools are suffering and to demand more money for education from central government.

“Don’t take us for fools! We deserve a properly funded education!” the children will shout, after meeting at Reality Checkpoint on Parker’s Piece at 4pm on Monday April 1st.

We are calling on you, the academics of Cambridge, to turn out in large numbers and join us on this march. We know you understand the value of education and the need for proper funding and investment from the government.

On Monday, we need your support - and so do our children. Schools have suffered a real terms funding cut of 8% since 2010, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Now they are facing financial crisis. Already some schools are struggling to offer disadvantaged children and children with special educational needs and disabilities the support they need. This has a knock on effect - not only on staff morale and teaching workloads - but on all children in the class. What kind of future will we have in this country, if we fail to provide a properly-funded education for our children? How can the government expect the UK to remain a leader in the field of research, development and enterprise if it fails to properly invest in education at all levels, whether that be primary schools or tertiary degrees? If we sit back and allow funding cuts to harm the life chances of our children, where will it end?

It is time for educators and parents to unite. Join us. Download our poster from https://bit.ly/2uvfPVh and pin it on your office door. Join our Facebook page, facebook.com/groups/fund.our.schools.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @fund_schools

And last but not least, come along to Parker’s Piece at 4pm on Monday, April 1st, and march with us to protest the cuts.

Yours sincerely,

Donna Ferguson, Claire Summerfield, Alessandra Lombardi and other concerned parents of Cambridge.”

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