Published January 17, 2017 at 9:56
Joan Taylor (School Rep) and Louise Astin (Branch Organiser) attended the Schools Forum yesterday (16/1/2017) at the UNISON Regional Centre, Arena Point, Manchester. It was great to listen to Angela Rayner Shadow Secretary of State for Education and colleagues from UNISON about the work that takes place behind the scenes.
The Branch would like to encourage all school members to go along to future Schools Forum Meetings (dates will be sent out shortly). For more information about the meetings please contact the Branch office.
Angela, a former UNISON North West Regional Convenor, spoke about the importance of organising work in communities in the fight against cuts in school budgets. This approach has worked in forcing the Government to back-track on plans to introduce greater segregation in our schools through more selection at 11 – and we need to be ready to resist the Government if they try again.
Angela spoke about the importance of school support staff – who she described as undervalued and underpaid for the work they do. She spoke about the importance of support staff in helping with children’s mental health and she spoke movingly about her own children’s experiences in emphasising the importance of special educational needs provision.
Angela spoke about Labour’s vision for a National Education Service, which could become as valued and loved as the NHS.
Labour’s approach contrasts sharply with the Government’s proposed cuts to school funding. The cuts will affect schools and academies alike and will see schools lose £3bn a year in real terms by 2020 – you can find out how your local school fares under the Government’s new funding formula and contact your MP by visiting: schoolcuts.org.uk
Cath Baggaley, UNISON Chair of the North West Schools Forum said:
“These proposals are going under the radar, we need to make parents aware of the detrimental impact they will have on their children’s education. We need to work together to ensure any new formula is properly funded by national government and that it is fairly distributed.”
Funding cuts are already having an impact as schools plan their services and budgets. Has this affected your school yet? If so, please contact UNISON directly with any examples at: email@example.com
Over the last few months the Branch has been visiting schools to discuss the importance of being part of a trade union and to encourage existing members to become more active within UNISON.
If your school would like a workplace visit please contact Louise on 01254 585220 or firstname.lastname@example.org