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Northern heads launch school funding campaign

Schools NorthEast #Fundourfuture campaign aims to persuade Treasury to invest more in education

New campaign is launched on schools funding

Schools NorthEast #Fundourfuture campaign aims to persuade Treasury to invest more in education

Headteachers in the North East are to launch a new campaign to put pressure on Downing Street to increase school funding.

Schools NorthEast’s director Mike Parker said the #FundourFuture campaign would look to engage with parents and grandparents to make the case for more money for schools.

The campaign will see children put pictures of themselves on a mountain of "bank notes" which will be sent to prime minister Theresa May.

Mr Parker announced the new campaign at Schools NorthEast’s summit in Newcastle today.

He said it would be a positive voice aimed at unlocking the support of voters in the same way the NHS 70 campaign had done.

He said: “Funding is a recurring issue, one that people talk to us about all the time, one that has forced headteachers out onto the streets of Westminster.

“The party line from government isn’t fooling anyone because the independent evidence and studies expose the real truth about the situation.

“Now we are joining our collective voice to the chorus of concern across the country about the level of funding within the education system."

He said the focus of the campaign would be persuading voters of the need to increase school funding.

He said: “Much of the focus to date has been calling on the Department for Education to give more money to schools – but the real power lies with the Treasury and the leverage we need to bring to bear is on the prime minister, to tell her to tell Philip Hammond to unlock the Treasury coffers.”

Mr Parker said one of the issues is that education doesn’t have a collective identity that voters understand in the way the NHS has.

He added: “Its NHS 70 campaign was quite the most brilliant campaign to leverage funding out of the government. To get £20bn by way of a birthday present was phenomenal because they galvanised voters about something which was passionate and personal to them.

“We have got to find a way to unlock the voters to make sure the prime minister makes Philip Hammond unlock the treasury coffers.”

Mr Parker added: “Our campaign is going to have a simple message: let's put a value on our children’s education.”

Parents, grandparents and extended families in the North East will be asked to put their child’s face or a drawing on a mountain of bank notes which will be sent to 10 Downing Street demanding the government prioritise funding for schools.

“And because Theresa May has announced the end of austerity we will no doubt be pushing on an open door," Mr Parker added.

The campaign has been given the backing of the Association of School and College Leaders.

Mr Parker said Schools NorthEast would be in discussion with other teaching unions to secure more support.

He has highlighted the impact Schools NorthEast has been able to have in the past on other issues.

He told heads that its campaigning for an opportunity area in the region had helped make the case for the government’s new Opportunity North East, announced this week, which will see £24 million invested in teacher training and programmes to raise standards.

He said that Schools NorthEast was also the first organisation to ask Teach First to come out of London to their region.

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