Teachers, parents and students will join community groups at the Croydon Assembly on Saturday, February 24 to plan a fightback against drastic education cuts that have hit the borough.
New research from the Schools Cuts Coalition shows that the ratio of pupils to each classroom teacher has gone up in 58% of Croydon’s secondary schools since 2014/15,
Cuts in spending have seen secondary school staff numbers in England fall by 15,000 between 2014/15 and 2016/17 despite them having 4,500 more pupils to teach.
The School Cuts coalition warns that the situation is likely to get even worse, as 17,942 (nine out of ten) primary and secondary schools in England and Wales are predicted to be hit by a real-terms cut in funding per pupil between 2015-19.
Joseph Flynn, Croydon NUT secretary said, “Government cuts to education are really hurting Croydon’s schools. Fewer teachers per student will inevitably have a damaging effect on pupil’s education.”
As well as planning action to stop the education cuts, Croydon Assembly, which has met regularly since 2015, is urging council candidates to take a far more radical stand on key issues of housing, social care, education, democracy, the environment and access to culture.
Working groups drew up a manifesto (attached) for the council elections, which will be launched with a film at the Assembly on February 24. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has spoken at two Assemblies, is sending a video message.
The manifesto acknowledges that while councillors do not possess all of the powers to implement many of its proposals, it urges candidates to “to commit to campaigning” for them inside and outside of Corydon.
The manifesto calls for the end of the cabinet system and the restoration of the committees system to give all councillors and Croydon residents a louder voice in council decisions, and demands “mandatory and binding ballots” on all developments affecting local communities.
It takes particular aim at the council’s Brick by Brick company, which it accuses of “acting like the developers in imposing new schemes on estates while ignoring residents’ views”.
Croydon Assembly meets from 12.-4.30pm at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CRO 1BD on Saturday, February 24. Registration is from 11.30 and lunch is available at the venue. Tickets are available via eventbrite.co.uk. Search for Croydon Assembly. The Assembly is being sponsored by the National Education Union and Croydon TUC. Data about school funding and staffing is available at http://bit.ly/school_workforce_cuts