Around 20 campaigners from the Campaign to Retain Our School Services held a noisy protest at the surgery of Northfield Councillor Reg Corns on Saturday (29th January). The campaigners, including local school students, were armed with pots, pans, musical instruments, loud voices and banners saying “Stop the Education Cuts” as they handed in a petition with over 3,000 signatures on it against Birmingham City Council’s cuts to Central Education Services. The campaigners accused the Council of giving up on children by pushing through cuts and redundancies that will strip many parts of the service of the expertise that has benefitted Birmingham schools over the years. The removal of Council subsidies will also push many parts of the service outside the financial reach of many schools, with the costs of using the Music Service, School Advisory service and the Outdoor Learning Centres becoming prohibitive in many cases. These services, once termed the ‘Jewel of Birmingham City Council’ by Council leaders are also set to be privatised, potentially putting thousands of jobs at risk. Already, some of the educational ‘day centres’, including school farms, are at risk of closure while the redundancy plans may mean that the City Council is unable to provide services such as EMAG support to schools.
The petition will now be brought to the Full Council meeting on Tuesday 1st February where campaigners urge the Council to think again. Instead of pushing through the Government’s cuts onto our children, we urge Councillors like Les Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children, Young Members and Families to discover a bit of courage and force the Con-Dem Government to cough up the cash that our services need. all, it was the Bankers that caused the crisis not our kids. By staying silent while they hover up record bonuses they condemn our children to a worse education. Campaigners will continue to take this message to the streets, including on the demonstrations against the cuts in Birmingham on 26th February and London on 26th March. For further quotes or details contact Doug on the numbers below.
For more information on CROSS or to sign the on-line petition look up: http://crossbrum.weebly.com/
The services at risk from cuts and privatisation are: The Music Service, Outdoor Learning Service, Services for SEN children, Early Years’ Teacher Support, Behaviour Support Service, Birmingham Advisory and Support Service, School Effectiveness, Extended Schools, Education Action Zones, City Learning Centres, Support for supplementary schools, School and Governor support, Health Education Service, Catering and cleaning, Family Learning Service, International Office (school exchange), Arts Education and Ethnic Minority Pupil Support.