I've just spent the afternoon in a full Executive strategy briefing and workshop. We received a presentation, then had discussion in workshop groups, around three key campaigns - Funding, Assessment and Workload. In addition, we have had an initial discussion about the role of the Executive in the new National Education Union from September.
Our starting point was the unstable political situation following the General Election and the raised awareness over the issue of school funding. The School Cuts website the union launched, and the vigorous parent campaign that has developed nationally and locally, made education funding a real issue at the election.
The School Cuts website had around 3.7 million pageviews with around 8000 people contacting their candidates. 1.5 million leaflets were given out by 3,500 volunteers at school dates, door-to-door and on street stalls. This work had a real impact on the election, with 795,804 people saying they changed their vote because of school funding policy. This had a real impact in marginal constituencies.
Now we need to look at taking forward our campaign on funding (and our other campaigns) in a changed environment.
In terms of funding, we have a real opportunity to put pressure on MPs of all parties for a fair funding settlement. It is shocking, given the opposition proposals and the number of Conservative MPs who have spoken out on school funding, that today's Queen's Speech contained no extra money for schools. Now is the time to make sure MPs know how important school funding is to us.
We are calling on teachers to arrange a meeting to speak to their local MP about school funding, and on local associations to co-ordinate and facilitate the meetings.
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