Union to consider action over school funding cuts

A union is to consult its members in Brighton schools over whether to take industrial action in the face of cuts to education funding.

Tuesday, 30th May 2017, 6:34 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 5:12 am
Parents, children and teachers gathered to protest cuts to school funding last week, at rallied organised by Save Our Schools

The GMB said 51 teaching assistants across nine schools in the city could be made redundant.

The union said these staff provide ‘vital support and education’ for children across all year groups, especially to those with learning and physical difficulties or special educational needs.

Consultations are reported to have taken place in nine Brighton schools since February this year, including: Longhill High School, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary, Brunswick Primary, Peter Gladwin Primary, Carden Primary, Coombe Road Primary, Queens Park Primary and Nursery School, Hertford Infant and Nursery School and City Academy Whitehawk.

Mark Turner, GMB Sussex branch secretary, said: "This reduction in staff in schools and the classroom will have an extremely damaging effect on the future education of the children in the city including the most vulnerable learners, but will at the same time see an increase to workloads and pressures for teachers.

"GMB can’t simply sit by and see this happen and as a union over the coming weeks we will be speaking to our members across the whole of the city’s schools on what action they feel is appropriate in preparing to protect both the children they support, service they provide, and the jobs they love.

"Let’s hope we can see this city support, staff and children in forcing a u-turn on current plans, but the reality is that we cannot rule out having to take strike action to do so at this time."

This comes after rallies in Brighton and Portslade on Friday (May 26), organised by the parent-led Save Our Schools group, which is campaigning against funding cuts in Brighton and Hove schools.