1. ITV Report

"Fund our future" the school campaign putting pressure on the government

Schools North East has launched #FundOurFuture - a national campaign encouraging parents and families to put their child at the centre of the call for greater levels of school funding.

The charity, created by headteachers, involves a network of 1150 schools. Their campaign effort urges families to put pressure on the government to increase funding for education.

Schools North East say the government spends £500 less per child, compared to 10 years ago. As a result of this, the schools are having to cut staff and resources.

Pupils taking part in the #FundOurFuture campaign Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The campaign is asking members of the public to create a £500 banknote online and upload a photo of their child alongside it. Families are then encouraged to email the images directly to Prime Minister Theresa May and share them on social media with the hashtag #FundOurFuture.

  • Mike Parker, Director of Schools North East says parents need to tell the Prime Minister to take notice of their notes:
  • In an additional statement, Mike Parker, Director of Schools North East said:

Put simply, young people are the future of our country, so it's crucial that we give them the best chance to succeed from an early age. Funding cuts are affecting schools across the country, forcing them to remove important provisions, make staff redundant and reduce the levels of care and support each child receives.

Some have even had to turn to parents, asking for donations to help provide the level of support and facilities children deserve. We want to draw attention to the gravity of this situation and demonstrate to Theresa May that we care about our children's future. If you're able to take five minutes to create, submit and share a personalised banknote, we can put pressure on the Government to #FundOurFuture.

– Mike Parker
  • John Hardy, Schools North East Chairman and Head Teacher of St. John Vianney RC Primary School in Hartlepool, added:

Despite government assurances that more money is being spent on education than ever before, there is a clear message that schools are in financial crisis. This campaign will build on the other brilliant awareness raising campaigns in a way that hits right to the heart of Westminster.

– John Hardy
Parents are encouraged to take a photo with their child and the note Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
  • Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of NAHT, a union which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said:

School budgets are at absolute breaking point. School leaders have made all the obvious savings. Now, class sizes are rising and the range of subjects schools can offer is shrinking as they desperately try to balance the books. Everyone agrees that the school funding crisis can only be solved by new money from the Treasury.

– Paul Whiteman
The 'Bank of Education' notes can be created online Credit: ITV News
  • A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Since 2017, we have given every local authority more money for every pupil in every school, while allocating the biggest increases to the most underfunded. Nationally, the core schools budget is rising from almost £41 billion in 2017-18 to £43.5 billion in 2019-20. In the North East, funding will rise by £96m, or 5.3%, once rising pupil numbers are taken into account.

Many schools in the North East will also benefit from our Opportunity North East programme, backed by £24 million, which aims to drive up academic standards, boost social mobility and raise aspirations for children in the area.

While there is more money going into our schools than ever before we know schools face budgeting challenges, which is why we have introduced a wide range of support to help schools reduce costs and get the best value from their resources.

The Secretary of State has made clear that as we approach the next spending review, he will back head teachers to have the resources they need to deliver a world class education in the years ahead.

– Department for Education