Dear Parent/ Carer,

RE: SCHOOL FUNDING CRISIS – Update

We wrote to you last month to inform parents/carers about the success of the School Funding Petition and how that had led to a scheduled debate in Parliament on Monday 4th March. We explained how this had only been possible with the fantastic support of the parents and family members of our school communities.

Today, we are writing to provide an update on the situation.

Many MPs, from across the political parties, chose to be involved in the three-hour debate and were able to share the views of parents, Head Teachers and teachers. The North East was represented well by MPs who spoke passionately on behalf of their constituents with a clear focus on the evidence which clearly showed that more funding was required.

During the debate, it was mentioned many times that the force of feeling about lack of funding had been captured via the petition (which now has over 107,000 signatures) and that school communities are drawing a line and saying enough is enough. This argument was further supported by the specific emails with actual stories of funding challenges in individual schools; this meant that it was not solely about numbers and statistics but about children and their education. The loss of staff, the reduction of resources and the erosion of curriculum opportunities were all highlighted during the session.

It was clear that the vast majority of MPs, across the political spectrum, believed that government needed to make improvements in funding during the next Spending Review in order to avert a national crisis which would have far reaching implications across society.

In the build-up to the debate and subsequently, there has been a lot of press which have shared the concerns. However, reporters have also stated how it was Gateshead schools and their communities which have led this issue for the sake of children around the entire country. Radio, television and national newspapers have all presented our concerns in a positive light which has ensured that there was a high profile at all levels.

Once again, we would like to thank everyone who has provided support for this campaign. The collective force of our school communities has raised the issue of school funding loudly and robustly so that Government will find it difficult to ignore.

We would like to assure you all that we will continue working with other agencies, unions and departments to drive forward in our campaign to attempt to get the funding required for the best education possible for all our children.

Yours sincerely,

Mr M. Malik  Chairperson GAPH

Mr S. Haigh  Chairperson GASH

Mrs M. Richards Chairperson SHIP

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