Comedian Steve Coogan has added his voice to the ongoing campaign for fairer school funding.
The Alan Partridge star will join youngsters from West Sussex to Manchester and Brighton to Birmingham in a trip to Downing Street on Thursday (July 6) where they plan to hand over thousands of messages of love for their schools - all written by the children.
The event was organised by the parent-led Save Our Schools campaign, which in turn has backed calls from headteachers for adequate funding for every school in the country.
Mr Coogan said: “I’m fully supporting all the parents leading the fantastic Save Our Schools campaign, forcing politicians to seriously consider the funding cuts to our state school system.
“We cannot live in a society where we have a state education system that is stripped to the bone and where the arts and sport are the preserve of children whose parents can afford to pay for them.”
The comedian and representatives from 60 schools are scheduled to hand over tens of thousands of messages at Downing Street at noon
Among them will be one from Year 6 pupil Jasmine, which reads: “I love doing things like BikeAbility because I don’t have a bike at home.”
Another, from Tommy, also in Year 6, says: “I love my teaching assistants and how happy and jolly they are and how sometimes they sacrifice their lunch breaks to help us.”
Many schools have already been affected by cuts to staff and the curriculum, with headteachers warning of more to follow.
Save Our Schools campaigner and parent Alison Ali said: “Despite years of repeated warnings about the funding crisis from stressed heads and teachers, and despite Parliament’s own select committee on spending saying the Department of Education is suffering ‘collective delusion’ on funding, the government continues to fudge the issue.
“Now parents are seeing the real effects of these cuts in their schools, as teachers and teaching assistants are made redundant and class sizes balloon.”
She added: “We hope the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Education are prepared to actually sit and read these poignant messages from tens of thousands of children around the UK and then act upon them.”
After delivering their messages, the group plans to open a pop-up art display outside the gates of Downing Street, showing off more than 20,000 messages in bottles.
They will then head to Trafalgar Square, where children will float their bottles in the fountain “as a symbolic act of protest against education cuts”.
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