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Redbridge teacher says school cuts will create a ‘lost generation’ at Big Education Picnic in Wanstead

PUBLISHED: 15:59 25 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:33 25 May 2017

Teachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead. Redbridge teachers at the picnic

Teachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead. Redbridge teachers at the picnic

Archant

A Redbridge secondary school teacher has said children studying today “will be like a lost generation”, at a campaign event against school cuts.

Teachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead.Teachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead.

The teacher, who did not wish to be named, spoke to the Recorder at the Big Education Picnic yesterday at Christchurch Green in Wanstead, attended by more than 250 people.

Teachers, politicians, union representatives and students gave speeches about the “crisis” facing schools in the borough – which could lose £15 million after the new funding formula.

Statistics from the SchoolCuts website state Redbridge will lose £338 per pupil and 411 teacher jobs.

The teacher said: “We are not just talking about saving money, we are talking about children’s futures.

Teachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead.  Wes Streeting addresing the crowdTeachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead. Wes Streeting addresing the crowd

“We got an education but the children today will get a raw deal, they will be like a lost generation.

Helen Watson, secretary of the Friends of Redbridge Music Service, said she was concerned arts lessons would be cut.

Most adults have fond memories of recorder lessons and the smell of Milton fluid that cleaned them, but when hard decisions have to be made arts and sports programs are often the first to go

“Some children only get out of bed in the morning because of music, arts and sport classes – they really enjoy them and they can grow in confidence and express themselves,” she said.

Teachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead. Helen Watson, Secretary of Friends of Redbridge Music Service addresing the crowdTeachers and families attending the Stand Up to School Cuts picnic on Christchurch Green in Wanstead. Helen Watson, Secretary of Friends of Redbridge Music Service addresing the crowd

“We are going to see huge class sizes, more cuts and fewer subject choices.

“This government is going to desecrate our schools.”

In addition she revealed that some teachers were considering using flower and water to make glue, as they cannot afford Pritt Stick.

Claire Downey, of Hatton Special Needs School, in Woodford Green, also spoke and said the budget is getting “harder and harder” but this year really “takes the biscuit”.

Victoria Baskerville, chairwoman of Redbridge Against Academisation, which helped organise the event, thanked the speakers.

“Our children might be going to a four day week with class sizes of 48 pupils,” she said.

“We have given out 10,000 leaflets been on social media for six hours a day and put up 80 laminated posters.

“If all of us did something the government will have a real difficulty.”

Wes Streeting, Labour candidate for Ilford North, told the crowd the reason he is so passionate about education is because it got him growing up on a council estate to where he is today.

“Education is really on the ballet paper this election,” he said.

“There couldn’t be a bigger gulf (between the parties).”

Last month the Recorder spoke to secretary of state for international development Priti Patel, who denied cuts were taking place, and said the funding formula was just at a consultation stage.

The government has said the policy is designed to split funding more evenly across the country.

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