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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 March 2018

Southampton asks "What will you do to stop education cuts?"

Children deserve high quality, fully funded education, photo by Southampton Fair Funding for All Schools

Children deserve high quality, fully funded education, photo by Southampton Fair Funding for All Schools   (Click to enlarge)

Sue Atkins, Southampton grandparent and TUSC candidate for Woolston

Last year's general election saw a historic surge for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity manifesto. A large part of that wave was the 800,000 voters who switched their vote on the question of education. That crisis and that wave has not gone away.

On 23 March hundreds of parents, teachers, students, education trade unions and anti-cuts campaigners across Southampton joined end-of-school protests at 13 schools to say "stop school cuts!" The schools crisis is reaching breaking point and a fight has to be waged to ensure jobs and children's education are protected.

The protests were followed up by a successful campaign meeting in Southampton. Hosted by Southampton Fair Funding for All Schools and the local NEU, it attracted new teachers and parents to the fight.

NEU activists Penny Burnett and Pete Baddams outlined the crisis facing schools and the pressure heads are under to make cuts. A local headteacher, Liz Filer, talked of the disastrous consequences cuts would have and explained schools are in deficit because they are underfunded.

Our campaign has met secondary students who are furious that their schools don't teach music or IT! The meeting had support from Southampton Labour council cabinet member for education, Darren Paffey, and other councillors who joined the meeting, all outlining their opposition to Tory funding cuts.

The first contribution from the floor came from a Unison teaching assistant and parent. They asked the Labour councillors, "what will you do to stop the cuts?"

To this decisive question Labour councillors retreated to warm words of solidarity and apologies they couldn't do more. It is clear this did not satisfy anyone in the meeting.

Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Candidate candidate Nick Chaffey outlined what powers councils have to use 'licensed deficits'. He pointed out that these could be funded from the 120 million reserves Southampton council has, which could be paid off by an incoming Jeremy Corbyn-led government. Nick said, "if councillors were prepared to fight, they would be heroes and get huge support."

Councillor Keith Morrell has consistently voted against cuts, and was scandalously expelled from the Labour Party for doing so. He challenged Labour councillors to tell the truth to voters and fight like Labour's pioneering councillors who fought for state education.

Our local campaign has drawn a clear line in the sand - this far and no further. We will continue to campaign at school gates in coming weeks and make the local elections a clear choice about what our council needs to do to stop Tory school cuts.

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In The Socialist 28 March 2018:


What we think

Antisemitism slurs: latest attempt to derail Corbynism


Socialist Party workplace news

NEU conference 2018: Strike to take on the Tories

UCU: Strike action forces bosses to retreat but keep the pressure on

NHS pay: Reject the Tories' divide and rule offer

British Museum: Carillion workers demand to be brought back in-house

Victimised recycling strikers uncowed as Hull strike wave builds

Liverpool Uni staff set to fight 220 job losses

Aberdeen bus drivers strike against pay cuts

Migrant cleaners win living wage at Mail


Local elections 2018

For Whom the School Bell Tolls: Our kids or the Tories?

Southampton asks "What will you do to stop education cuts?"

Campaign against Newham academies boosted by victories

Save Free School Meals!


Martin Luther King

The life and legacy of Martin Luther King


Socialist Party news and analysis

Grenfell: survivors not rehoused, inquiry not independent, blocks not safe

Walkout from undercover policing inquiry


Social media

Social media - the potential and the limits


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tories fear youth revolt - fight for our future

Goldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

Walthamstow Save Our Square protesters thrown out of city hall for demanding a say

Northern Socialist Party conference

North West Socialist Party conference

Building fund appeal

Bristol Socialist Students join Yarlswood demo

May Day greetings: Lend your support to the fight against the bosses


International socialist news and analysis

France: Pressure mounts on Macron government

USA: Huge 'march for our lives' protests

Russia's predictable presidential election


 

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Related links:

Southampton:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: How can society make the best use of technology?

triangleSouthampton TUSC: Local election rally

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: How can society make the best use of technology?

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The strike wave in the army post WW1

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: How can Southampton Labour council stop school cuts?

Education:

triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

triangleNEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

triangleGoldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

triangleNEU conference 2018: Strike to take on the Tories

Cuts:

triangleWorkers' victory over anti-union Scottish council

triangle1,400 beds empty as patients lay in corridors: health unions must act now

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: Council cuts - How can we fight back?

Schools:

triangleCampaign against academies boosted by victories

triangleFor Whom the School Bell Tolls: Our kids or the Tories?

Labour:

triangleLocal paper reveals Labour candidate 'tried to defect to the Tories'

Councillors:

triangleLabour councillors could stop unsafe 'driver-only operation' tomorrow

School:

triangleAvenue School strikers and parents win judicial review

Council:

triangleVictorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist

Teachers:

triangleTeachers vote to ballot for strike to win 5% raise

Students:

triangleMoving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

Parents:

triangleMore staff join strike action at Barnsley school

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