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Thousands expected at school funding crisis rally

Teachers, parents and pupils are set to march on the Department for Education offices in Westminster tomorrow

Teachers, parents and pupils are set to descend on Westminster tomorrow to demand more funding for schools

Teachers, parents and pupils are set to march on the Department for Education offices in Westminster tomorrow

Thousands are expected to attend a rally and march at Westminster tomorrow in protest over the schools funding crisis. 

Teachers, parents and pupils will march on the Department for Education offices to send a message to chancellor Philip Hammond that he must reverse school cuts and increase funding for high needs, early years and post-16.

Joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union Mary Bousted said: “The Chancellor has displayed his ignorance of the seriousness of the funding crisis by offering, in his Budget speech, £400 million for what he calls ‘little extras’.

“This was widely viewed by teachers, headteachers and support staff as an insult, at a time when schools are suffering a £2 billion shortfall in funding per year.”

Labour Party support

The march and rally will bring together the NEU, the NAHT heads' union, Unison and the NEU Councillor Network, as well as groups including SEND National Crisis, Special Needs Jungle, Save Our Schools, and Fair Funding for All Schools.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has yet to confirm whether he will attend the rally, but the party's shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner MP, is already confirmed to be among the speakers. 

Campaigners at the event will also call for the government to implement and fully fund the recommendations of the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) that all teachers, including those on upper pay scales, should receive a 3.5 per cent pay increase.

Speakers will also include NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney and Unison’s April Ashley at the event. Speeches will be introduced by Mary Bousted.

A spokesman for the NEU, which has organised the bulk of the event, said it was hoped that Mr Corbyn would confirm his attendance later today and that he was “very keen” to attend.    

The event begins at 5.30pm at Westminster Cathedral (SW1P 1QW), with campaigners marching to the Department for Education offices, and on to the Emmanuel Centre, on Marsham Street.

 

 

 

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