More than 300 parents, school staff and children took part in a rally in Worthing on Saturday to make their voices heard and stand up to the West Sussex school funding crisis.
The march was organised by parent-led campaign group ‘Save our Schools West Sussex’ in response to the Government’s funding cuts to schools across West Sussex. Armed with drums, whistles, banners and placards, the group marched from Steyne Gardens, through the town centre and along the seafront.
There are currently 7 Worthing schools making staff redundant: Downsbrook Primary, Durrington Infants, Durrington Junior, Field Place Infants, Oak Grove College, Thomas A Becket Junior and Whytemead Primary. With a total of 13 teachers and 34 teaching assistants being removed from Worthing schools right now UNISON is concerned that it is the children that will suffer most, particularly vulnerable children and those with special needs.
Dan Sartin, Branch Secretary of UNISON West Sussex, was the speaker at the rally after the march. Dan spoke about the impact of the funding cuts:
We know of 56 West Sussex schools in total planning redundancies for this academic year. What is the impact of this underfunding? Of course education suffers. In West Sussex, in our Key Stage 2 results last year only 44 per cent of our kids made the grade when it came to reading, writing and maths combined, compared to a national average of 53 per cent. Though some would seek to deny it, there is a direct link between resources and attainment.
‘Save our Schools West Sussex’ is gaining a huge amount of support from parents, school staff and the wider public, with over 1,800 people joining their facebook page in the last month. The group has also called a public meeting to be held on Saturday 6th May in Worthing: further details can be found here.
Read the positive news coverage of Saturday’s march in the Worthing Herald here.