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Posted on by Silk News

East Cheshire parents, teachers and campaigners raised concerns at a march through Sandbach at the weekend, criticising the proposed Fair Funding Formula.

Hundreds of Cheshire parents marched through the streets of Sandbach on Saturday, March 18 2017 to voice their anger at proposed government  plans to reduce schools funding in the area.

In its current format, the Fair Funding Formula sees East Cheshire schools become some of the lowest funded in the country – something MPs have raised concerns with in recent weeks.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson who is also the Children’s Minister came under fire with Cheshire East Council Leader Rachel Bailey being heckled for his claimed silence.

She said it must be difficult for him being minister, not being able to attend the rally and said having spoken with him they both agree that the formula is “not fit for purpose” for Cheshire East schools but this protester says it’s no excuse, “He was elected to represent his constituency so therefore I think he should be here.”

CE protest

Image: Despite the rain, crowds gathered in Sandbach Town Centre 

Chants of “No ifs, no buts you can stick your funding cuts” could be heard as crowds with placards and banners took to the streets.

Silk News were there, and heard this reaction one parent, “I have two children who are both at school – one at high school and one at primary and I’m just worried that these cuts are going to affect their future.”

Another shared this concern, “There’s a lot of affluence in Cheshire but there’s some real poor sports in Cheshire and I work in one of those poor spots. For us to lose our funding is going to be devastating.”

 

Councillor Bailey put some of the figures into perspective, “Cheshire East education would love £9.3million and of that directly £4.1million would go from schools.”

Jeanette Walker is Headteacher of Malbank School in Nantwich. She said, “It will make it harder because we will have bigger classes, fewer subjects at GCSE and A-Level, teachers teaching more lessons and therefore spending less time planning and marking.”

Organiser Laura Smith is optimistic the Formula will be reviewed before it’s implemented though, “I’m hopeful the Government are going to start listening and we will see what happens next but we are certainly not at the end of this.”

 

Cheshire East Council is urging residents to have their say during the consultation stage.

Image: The march begun at Sandbach Boys School, where crowds gathered with placards and banners.

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