Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Tuesday 18 June 2024

My Pledge as a Workers' MP for Chorley - Stop School Cuts

Chorley voters have been writing to me to ask that I pledge support for issues that are of particular concern to them. So that they are on the record for all voters, I am posting my response on some of the key issues here on my blog:

As a secondary science teacher and NUT - now Lancashire NEU - trade union member for nearly 40 years - as well as being a former Local Secretary National Executive member of the National Union of Teachers and Regional Secretary of the National Education Union - I fully back my Union's campaign against the underfunding of our schools and colleges.

As the NEU and the 'School Cuts campaign explains explains: "70% of schools in England have less funding in real terms than in 2010. This means they can’t afford the same essential running costs they could 14 years ago. Schools in England need £12.2 billion this year to start reversing the impact of 14 years of government cuts".

The School Cuts website shows what this means for schools in the Chorley constituency - a cut of £7M in real terms since 2010/11.

As one of my fellow Lancashire NEU members put it in an email to candidates: "You can’t cut school budgets year after year without education suffering. Our class sizes in the UK are among the highest in Europe. Whole subjects are being lost to cuts, with children missing out on life-changing opportunities to study arts, sports, and music. School staff are being driven to burnout by relentless stress and sky-high workloads".

That's why I have pledged to urgently fix the school funding crisis by campaigning for:

  • Real-terms growth in funding for schools in my constituency.
  • Urgent investment to tackle the SEND funding crisis.
  • Funding to address backlog of building work required in schools.
  • All pay awards and other new initiatives to be fully funded by the government.

I also pledged support for the NEU's wider Manifesto for Education on the day it was first released, earlier this month.
As well as opposing cuts, this includes demands to end child poverty, improving pay and workload, for appropriate special needs support, and for for an engaging curriculum - which, I would add, should also include teaching about the climate crisis:

I would add that TUSC also opposes the privatisation and marketisation of state education and so I would also add, on top of the demands in the Union's Manifesto, two further demands - to oppose academisation and to return all schools and colleges into democratic local control - and to reverse the privatisation of supply cover in order to to end the rip-off of both school budgets and the agency workers who they profit from (and which I suffer from personally!).

Martin Powell-Davies, Trade Unionist and Socialist Candidate for Chorley.

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