A Bristol Teacher’s Open Letter To Parents

As a blogger I try to avoid anything posting anything political, however, I have to be honest and say that as a parent the proposed cuts to education in this country really concerns me.

A couple of days ago I was sent the following open letter to parents by a Bristol teacher. The writer of the letter and his wife have been teachers for over 30 years between them and he describes never having seen ‘such a bleak outlook for state education in this country’.

The writer explained that his wife has left teaching, he is considering leaving and both of them are even unsure about whether they want their children to experience school life as it is now, let alone once the cuts to education kick in.

Here is his letter to you…

Dear parent,

Your children are about to enter a period where every year they have fewer teachers at their school, fewer teaching assistants, and less access to support for their physical and mental health.

This is not an exaggeration, it’s happening right now.

Please, if you haven’t already, get involved and help ensure that during this election our MPs have to face up to the realities of how much our children are being let down.

Who says that there is a problem?

The National Audit Office. “The government’s approach to managing the risks to schools’ financial sustainability cannot be judged to be effective or providing value for money”

The Public Accounts Committee. “there is a real risk that the Department will not be able to prevent declining standards”

The Institute for Fiscal Studies “the largest cut in school spending per pupil over a four-year period since at least the early 1980s”

Unions representing teachers and other school staff. “schools are already struggling to cope”

Who says that there is not a problem?

The government. They repeatedly say one thing – variations on a phrase talking about the core budget being the highest ever – but never elaborate on it.

As several of the links above explain, there is a reason the government won’t elaborate.

There are more children in school than before, schools costs have increased and budgets that aren’t the “core” budget are being cut.

What does it mean in practice?

Headteachers will be facing ‘unthinkable’ choices.

Schools from West Sussex and Cheshire East are considering a 4 day week.

Schools across the country are asking parents for money.

My school (a large secondary school) lost 13 teachers last summer and will lose another 15 this year – this has increased class sizes substantially and reduced the number of subjects we offer.

We are making our school nurse and counsellor redundant at a time when they have never been more necessary.

In every aspect of school life your child is going to find that they have fewer people to help them and those people will be working with lower budgets.

What can you do?

Get involved in your local Fair Funding for Schools group.

Contact all of the candidates in your constituency and ask them to commit to improving school funding, not cutting it.

Last, and most important, you have to choose how to vote on 8th June.

Please, think of the children.