On Tuesday 17th January, I attended a meeting at Rhodes Avenue Primary school. The meeting was organised by a group of local parents who have joined together to campaign against the cuts that are facing all schools across the country.
The turnout was hugely impressive with parents, teachers and governors, all coming from our local community and from other boroughs across London. The message at the meeting was loud and clear: that as stakeholders in schools, we are not prepared to sit back and let government cuts compromise the quality of education. What impressed me most was the passion and commitment of those in the room. All parents, teachers and governors, whether already involved in the campaign or not, spoke with real fervour about the need to protect schools nationally.
As a headteacher, I found the whole experience both reassuring and rejuvenating. I used to enjoy thinking strategically about the direction of the school, trialling new initiative and embracing new ideas. Of late however, budgetary constraints have meant that decisions in leadership are usually about cutting and reducing rather than improving and progressing. However, sitting in a room with hundreds of other passionate people, gave me great confidence and a tremendous sense of solidarity. It is great to know, that as educators we also have the backing and support of parents and governors as well.
This is the start of the campaign and it isn’t an easy task standing up to government and trying to reverse policy decisions. However, with sufficient backing, it may be possible that the DfE will stop and listen and make a change for the better.
It would be fantastic if the Coleridge community got behind the campaign to register our voice and concern about the future of our school and others nationally. You can find details of the campaign which is now gathering momentum via the link below.