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Thursday 18th
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

‘Politically neutral’ group speaks out

SCHOOLS are circulating briefings on Tory budget cuts so parents can grill election candidates, the Morning Star can reveal today.

A school in Cambridge sent out a Parent Teacher Association memo saying cuts “adversely affect the education that schools can provide.”

The email attached a pamphlet from the Headteachers’ Roundtable, a “politically neutral” group, with a series of questions about cuts to school budgets for parents to ask political canvassers.

Chesterton Community College was not available for comment.

But Jason Scott-Warren, a parent at the school, said: “I think it’s very sad that schools are being put in a position where they are forced to speak out about the impact of austerity.

“Politicians have been trotting out the same meaningless statistics for so many years that schools now feel obliged to explain to parents that they are suffering from serious cuts in funding per student.”

The Star understands that a number of other schools have circulated information about school funding cuts to parents.

National Union of Teachers (NUT) executive member Gawain Little said: “Education is a key issue at this election.

“In my view, it is a straight choice between a Conservative government that’s cutting education, and an opposition that has opposed those cuts.

“While the NUT is independent of any political party, we urge parents to vote for education.”

Mr Scott-Warren added: “Although this document is politically neutral, and criticises politicians of all parties for their poorly thought-out interventions, it is mostly an indictment of recent Conservative schools policies, and of new policies such as the plan to create new grammar schools.”

The school’s extraordinary intervention came as governors at a West Sussex school withdrew their labour in protest at funding cuts.

Malcolm Gordon, a spokesman for the voluntary governing board at Upper Beeding Primary, said: “This is the first time governors have taken action like this. I think it shows how passionately we feel about the funding crisis.

“Our job as governors is to help schools to give children the best possible start in life.

“We refuse to sit quietly by while their future is threatened.”