Underfunding of education

1st March 1996 at 00:00
(Photograph) - An estimated 40,000 parents, governors, pupils and teachers marched through Edinburgh last Saturday to protest against the underfunding of education.

Organisers were taken by surprise by the size of the demonstration, the biggest for many years.

It was described as "an outstanding illustration of the commitment of people in Scotland to a well-funded, high-quality education service", by Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the country's biggest teacher union, the Educational Institute of Scotland Judith Gillespie, convenor of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, told the rally that Scottish Secretary of State Michael Forsyth's aim was to reduce spending on education to levels in England.

The size of the demonstration contrasts with smaller scale protests against cuts in England and Wales in recent years. Last March, 10,000 parents, governors and parents turned up to a demonstration in London organised by the pressure group, Fight Against Cuts in Education, designed to put pressure on ministers to reverse education cuts.

FACE is planning a national demonstration in Nottingham on April 20.

Its vice-chairman Mike Frederick said the Scottish demonstration showed how much anger over schools funding there was among parents.

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