It is hugely dispiriting to see teachers and pupils using their half term to protest the cuts to school budgets. It’s an issue across the country and here in Reading there are some particularly stark statistics. Schools like the John Madjeski Acadamy that serves Whitley are particularly hard hit – with budget cuts equivalent to 12 teachers over the next 3 years.
I was glad to see Matt Rodda MP for Reading East listening to constituents, however I know he is well aware of the issues having been working closely with local campaigner Adele Barnet-Ward a parent whose children attend Caversham Primary. She has set up a petition which you can sign here.
Over on this side of town it’s a sorry picture with – to my knowledge – no serious engagement from our Conservative MP with the impact this will have on our schools and young people.
For those in West Berkshire, Suzi Ferguson is leading the campaign on this and has been out campaigning with other parents as well as teachers raising awareness of the impact this will have our children’s education. You can sign the West Berkshire petition here
This school year we need to send a very clear message to government, instead of cuts to our children’s education the government should be investing in our future and supporting our teachers, teaching assistants and other school staff in giving our children the best start in life.
I’ll certainly continue to lend my support to this campaign, and I’m sure many other parents and concerned residents will continue to campaign on this too.
Ultimately however we need a Labour MP in Reading West to stand up for Reading and West Berkshire, and a Labour government in Westminster who will listen.