A group of Brighton parents are protesting the government’s £3 billion cuts to education with the ‘Save Our Schools’ project.
Working alongside teachers and headteachers, ‘Save Our Schools’ is opposing austerity measures which will cut £11.5 million from Brighton and Hove alone.
The group will hold a launch party on Thursday (March 30) at BHASVIC college to raise awareness of the project which already has 800 likes on Facebook and a growing Twitter following.
School children will sing ‘Message in a Bottle’ by The Police to open the event and send out their own SOS message to supporters.
The performance will be followed by speeches on the importance of defending young people’s education, with music, a bar and brainstorming sessions on how to lobby and campaign.
SOS member Nupur Verma said that parents were starting to see education being stripped back to basics, with volunteers increasing their hours because teaching assistants are not being replaced, and subjects like art, music and sport being cut back or lost entirely.
“We can already see the effect the cuts are having, no matter what the government claims to the contrary. And the bad news is, it’s going to get a lot worse,” she said.
Ms Verma added that Queens Park School and Middle Street are looking at closing their nursery schools, with other schools forced to lose teachers, increase class sizes and narrow the curriculum even further.
While the campaign aims to be light-hearted and fun, its message is serious.
“£3 billion is a lot of money that you can’t save just by spending less money on Pritt Stick and doing less photocopying,” said parent and SOS campaigner Catherine Fisher.
“If we are the fifth largest economy in the world as politicians tell us, we should be able to have a properly funded education system. When heads are writing to parents asking for money-raising ideas to pay teachers, education is not being properly funded.”
Save Our Schools campaigners believe that if enough parents join forces with heads and teachers, their SOS message will grow so loud the government will have to listen – and put back the £3 billion in funding to give children ‘the education they deserve’.
The SOS launch party is on Thursday (March 30), from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, at BHASVIC, 205 Dyke Road, Hove.
For tickets, click here.
To find out more about Save Our Schools click here.