Schools crisis unacceptable

Letter addressed to county council leader Louise Goldsmith:

I am a parent of two school-aged children, living in Worthing.

I know you are well aware of the funding crisis that is damaging our schools.

I understand that this topic has been much discussed over recent months at County Hall. You may also be aware of the growing movement of angry parents who are speaking out against the school cuts.

The Save Our Schools West Sussex public meeting in Worthing on Saturday was well attended by hundreds of committed supporters, ready to mobilise and take action.

I’m angry and I’m speaking out. At my son’s school, Thomas A Becket Juniors, seven full time equivalent teaching assistants posts are being made redundant.

This could amount to the loss of well over ten members of staff, who currently provide essential support and interventions with our children.

The impact of this loss of staff on the school as a whole, and on our children, will be devastating.

It’s the same horror story in many more schools right across our area. As leader of West Sussex County Council, you have presided over this devastation. Our children’s education is being damaged at this very moment, and it is simply unacceptable.

Now is the time to stop discussing and start acting. Our schools need emergency funding to be released by West Sussex County Council immediately.

I understand that a motion has been tabled for £1.3million to be released from the council’s reserve funds to support schools as an emergency measure.

What are you doing to make this happen? In the longer term, all our schools need adequate funding to deliver the education that our children deserve.

This is funding that we provide in part, as taxpayers. The funding crisis needs immediate attention and we have to know your commitment to this. What is your per pupil funding commitment in real terms going forward, for West Sussex? What are you doing to ensure this is provided to West Sussex by central government?

I would appreciate your immediate response to these questions. Education is a priority issue for many people living in West Sussex: parents, grandparents, school pupils, school staff, governors and members of the community; the majority of whom are eligible to vote.

This is a priority issue not only in the run up the to the general election on 8 June, but always. Please add the funding crisis affecting West Sussex schools to the agenda of the forthcoming Annual County Council meeting on May 16. I look forward to hearing from you at your soonest convenience. This crisis is damaging schools and our children’s education now. West Sussex County Council’s response cannot wait until after the general election. Yours sincerely

Sarah Maynard

Peverel Road


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