Hey local Cheshire East parents,
Felt compelled to write this both as a professional who works with schools helping them to market themselves, but more importantly as a parent of two children, and as a friend to parents of school-age children, whose schools are about to be significantly impacted on.
The fact is, the new National Funding Formula that Schools Minister Nick Gibb (below) is set to introduce, could see Cheshire East schools hundreds of thousands of pounds worse off.
Edward Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich explains: “The government has protected the core schools budget in real terms since 2010, with school funding at its highest level on record at more than £40 billion in 2016-17. But the system for distributing that funding across the country is unfair, opaque and outdated.”
Ok, but what do those budget cuts mean for the schools [and our children] in reality?
The reality is that Headteachers have already outlined they may have to axe one in four teachers as well as increase class sizes, potentially reduce to a four-day week, cut school trips, swimming lessons, library/local museum visits, as well as limiting classroom resources such as textbooks and computers.
Mr Timpson says he has made the “strongest possible representations” to Mr Gibb over the impact of the new NFF on Cheshire East, saying he’s called on his fellow Tory Ministers to treat Cheshire East “fairly”. But is it enough?
We think not. Not by some way. We need YOUR support to secure any kind of fighting chance and here are some ways in which you can help:
1. Complete questions 1-4 of the Government consultation document:
Apparently this is the most constructive action you can take. Parents have until Mar 22 to complete the questions, but I’d urge you to please contribute as soon as possible. Every contribution will be counted, and the more that are submitted, the greater chance we stand.
Click here to access the consultation document. Then scroll down to the box where it says “Give us your views” and then click “Online Survey”.
Please don’t be put off by the questions. You only need to complete questions 1 to 4. The consultation document is purposely designed to bamboozle people to deter them from completing it. Make sure you change the words to make them your own as the responses are scanned and if two responses are the same they will be counted as one.
2. Sign the petition:
Please please please sign the petition. It takes less than a minute, and we’re aiming for 100,000 signatures as then the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
3. Join the protest:
Nantwich mum Laura Smith is initiating a campaign to stage a protest in Nantwich town centre on Monday February 27, from 10am. Laura, a primary school teacher, said: “We are talking a full-on education crisis. If we don’t get our voices out there, then by March 22 it could be too late. Bring your children if they have an inset day. Please make banners if you can.” Click here to listen to Laura speaking about the funding crisis on Red Shift Radio last week.
I know I’ll personally be attending the protest, and I’m hoping my son Bertie (age 8) will be speaking out about the impact the new Funding Formula will have on his education too.
4. Use social media to spread awareness as wide as possible
Please take to Facebook and Twitter to share concern about this issue with your friends and family. How can you do this? Answer: share this blog post to inform parents, teachers, governors, local authorities how they can help. We need to get support from as many people as possible.
Use key hashtags in your posts: #AreOurChildrenWorthless #NFF #ParentPower.
5. Email our MP’s:
Our local MPs in Cheshire East are keen for us all to send them e-mails regarding the School Funding cuts and the National Funding Formula. They looking for volumes of e-mails from parents highlighting specific questions parents want answered, as they will forward them on to Nick Gibb MP. You will get a standard response, but don’t let this put you off. The volume of e-mails to Nick Gibb will be noticed. There’s some really valuable supporting information for structuring your email here. You’ll see it shows information in relation to writing to the MP for Macclesfield – David Rutley, but please see here to find contact details of the MP for your area within Cheshire East.
Anyway, please please please take the time to support in one (or more) of the ways listed above. Your help really could make all the difference.
“The reality is that Headteachers have already outlined they may have to axe one in four teachers as well as increase class sizes, potentially reduce to a four-day week, cut school trips, swimming lessons, library/local museum visits, as well as limiting classroom resources such as textbooks and computers.”
I personally feel very passionate about this knowing how seriously this could affect our children’s schooling. I’m also currently working with a local school in Sandbach who offer a fantastic educational experience, and I know they’re extremely concerned about the prospect of what lies ahead. Let’s not let the Government compromise this…for our children’s sakes.
Laura Smith worded it perfectly:
“I for one want to be able to tell my kids I tried to do something to stop it happening.”
I’m 100% behind you Laura.
Emily Richards is an experienced strategic marketer based in Cheshire (UK). She founded The Stickman Consultancy in 2012 and works with schools all over the country, helping them with their marketing requirements (click here to see more about this). If you’d like to talk to her about any marketing quandries you may have, please call or email: 07969 331164 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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