School governors across West Sussex will be holding a day of action on Friday 19th May in support of the WorthLess campaign in our county and the wider fairer funding debate across the country.
One of the main duties of a school governing body is to sign off the annual budget and to make sure the school is spending its money wisely. Sadly, Upper Beeding Primary School along with hundreds of others in West Sussex is facing a funding crisis. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the money to give your child the best education, something we constantly strive for. What’s more, unless things change, it is only going to get worse.
This year we have had to approve a cut back in the number of hours of support staff in the classroom. The work of Teaching Assistants is invaluable, supporting children who need help accessing the curriculum and those who need greater challenge. I’m afraid that next year you will notice fewer support staff in class. The school is unable to update and replace aging IT equipment which is frustrating for staff and children alike. We also have to significantly reduce the number of hours that a trained counsellor can spend with children who have special emotional needs. As governors, we feel we would not be doing our duty if we did not speak out about the impact this will have on your child and children who come to our school in the future.
Governors are all volunteers and we have legal duties to perform, so our options are limited. However, we intend to signal our support by “striking” on Friday 19th May, withdrawing our voluntary services for the day, talking to the media and lobbying those who are standing in the general election. We are asking the children at Upper Beeding Primary School to help us by spelling out the word “HELP!” in the playground. We hope the resulting aerial photos will give us a strong visual image to spread the word. Education funding is a huge issue at the moment.
If we do not get this message across children at our school will suffer. I hope you understand why governors are taking this issue so seriously.