Wales’s largest education union is concerned about the reports that schools are using the new Curriculum as an excuse to reorganise, and fears that head teachers will use it as justification to cut costs in light of the funding crisis. The National Education Union Cymru is also concerned that Welsh MPs, and the Secretary of State for Wales in particular, don’t see it as their job to approach Westminster to ask for more money for Education in Wales.
David Evans, Wales Secretary of the National Education Union Cymru, said:
“Since 2015, approximately 942 schools in Wales have had their funding cut resulting in a reduction in staffing numbers, inadequate resources, increased class sizes and crumbling school buildings. The number of schools on this list will only increase if nothing is done to reverse the cuts.
“With the Westminster Government pledging a £14bn cash injection over the next three years for English schools, Welsh Government also has a responsibility to ensure that they maximise the extra amount received from the block grant for the provision of education. We will continue to work with the other unions on the School Cuts Cymru Campaign to highlight the challenges that face schools in Wales.”
The text of the motion to conference on this issue was as follows:
Motion 30. School Funding
Conference Cymru is pleased:
- That some progress has now started to take place with regards to fighting school cuts in Wales.
- That there has been a launch of School Cuts Cymru including the schoolcuts.cymru website at the Urdd National Eisteddfod.
- That activists in Wales will soon have the relevant bilingual materials we need to campaign against school cuts.
Conference Cymru is concerned:
i. That reports that schools are using the new curriculum as an excuse to reorganise and fears that Head teachers will use it as an excuse to cut costs.
ii. That Welsh MPs don’t see it as their job to approach Westminster and ask for more money for Education in Wales.
Conference Cymru believes:
That there now needs to be a very focused strategy from NEU Cymru and the Executive which builds on the lessons learned from the English cuts campaign to help activists get organised in their districts.
Conference Cymru calls upon NEU Cymru and the Executive through the Wales Committee:
a. To offer campaign training events in Wales for activists wanting to get involved with campaigning in their districts but don’t know how.
b. To encourage members to campaign in their schools and organise the membership around the funding issue.
c. To enable and encourage members in schools to act at local level against cuts that are leading to compulsory redundancies, deteriorating working conditions for our members and a poorer educational experience for the pupils we teach. This action can include using Action Short of Strike Action (ASOS) and balloting for strike action.
d. To work with parents, carers and other trade unions and interested bodies to organise a national all-Wales demonstration against cuts in school funding.
The National Education Union is an amalgamation of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT), formed on 1 September 2017. Please see the below contact details for assistance:
- David Evans, National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ. Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07815 071164. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mary van den Heuvel, National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ. Tel: 029 20491818. Email: Mary.VandenHeuvel@neu.org.uk