GENERAL MOTION: STOP EDUCATION CUTS
Adapted from a motion passed at Lewisham Deptford CLP in South London
This branch notes:
That schools in England and Wales face cuts of up to £3bn by 2019-2020 – worse than the cuts to school budgets under Thatcher.
Approximately 5% of local authority schools are in budget deficit now and schools locally are already making cuts.
There is also a developing teacher recruitment and retention crisis with 43,000 leaving the profession (or 1 in 10 teachers) in one year, the highest level in more than a decade. Many teachers cite an unsustainable workload as a major contributing factor in forcing them to leave.
That the government is simultaneously giving a lot more money to “free schools”!
This branch believes:
That many of the improvements seen in (some) schools over the last couple of decades are under threat if cuts are made.
That it is the responsibility of the Labour Party to work with the education trade unions and the wider labour movement to protect public services from cuts and privatisation.
This branch resolves:
To campaign against all cuts to schools and seek to build links with the trade unions and other campaigns locally in achieving this aim, including calling a public meeting on the issue.
To call on the Council to convene an open forum publicised widely, including school workers and parents, to explore the use of reserves and utilising borrow powers in its budget setting and to determine priorities.
To call on the Council to facilitate, in collaboration with schools leaders and the teaching unions, the creation of a Fair Workload Charter for teachers our area schools and encourage local schools to sign up to it.
Instructs the branch secretary to take this motion to the CLP GC/General Meeting.
To invite a council cabinet member for education answer any questions and inform debate at the CLP meeting where this motion is moved.
If you’d like to get your Momentum group working on fighting school cuts, get in touch with us in Lewisham, firstname.lastname@example.org
MOTION ON THE FOREST HILL SCHOOL DISPUTE IN LEWISHAM
This motion is for information. It was passed roughly 60 votes to 10 at a meeting of GC delegates on 9 March. Please pass a motion of solidarity and invite a speaker: email Lewisham NUT email@example.com
Lewisham Deptford CLP notes:
1. The sudden discovery of a £800,000 deficit at Forest Hill Boys School.
2. That the cause of this deficit is unknown.
3. That the school is undergoing a restructuring consultation.
4. That a Council backed rescue plan has been proposed involving a staff budget reduction of £1.3m.
5. That the rescue plan guarantees the PFI interest payments.
6. That the NUT has a strike mandate to oppose compulsory redundancies and an increase in teachers’ workload.
7. That Labour’s Manifesto for 2014 promised “Guarantee a primary school place at a good quality local school for every child and improve secondary school results by 10%.
Lewisham Deptford CLP believes:
1. That the students, parents and workers should not be paying for the results of a management systems failure.
Lewisham Deptford CLP calls on the Labour Group on the council:
1. To investigate the PFI charges on Forest Hill school to see if the School’s payment can be reduced or stopped.
2. To open the books so the community can see where the deficit came from and whether there are any savings that could be made without damaging educational provision and workers conditions.
3. To fully investigate the cause of the deficit.
4. To develop a rescue plan that does not punish students, parents and workers for a deficit that was not of their making.
Lewisham Deptford CLP resolves:
1. To support Forest Hill School staff in their strike action, due to commence March 15th.
2. To oppose reductions to funding in education.
3. To continue to oppose academisation.
4. To campaign for the renegotiation of all PFI contracts in the public sector.