The Schools Cuts campaign is a coalition of 6 education unions led by the National Education Union. Since 2016, School Cuts have been mobilising parents, school leaders, teachers and politicians to fight for school funding.
At the 2017 General Election, 750,000 people switched their vote because of the school funding issue. Under immense pressure as a direct result of the School Cuts Campaign, then Education Secretary Justine Greening delivered a surprise announcement of £1.3bn over the next two years for front-line school budgets.
This was a momentous win for our campaign but it also posed a challenge. The money announced wasn’t new money from the Treasury and it was nowhere near enough to cover the £2bn needed per year to offset the damaging cuts to date.
As school resumed in September we had to quickly re-establish the campaign narrative that education in the country was under threat, despite what the Government said.
We have continued to work on this campaign since the General Election alongside our friends and collaborators at Outlandish for the National Education Union and the wider coalition. Building on the success of the Election Campaign, we used a three strand approach:
In just seven weeks, we won back the conversation, reinvigorated the campaign and delivered a memorable lobby of Parliament.
Harnessing the power of digital tools, we mobilised our list while developing new parent leaders at an unprecedented speed. People who had never taken political action before were equipped and empowered to lobby their MPs and build local capacity for future action.
Government MPs who had previously denied the figures on schoolcuts.org.uk met with scores of parents, children and heads from their communities – some of them for many hours – until convinced to take their message to the Chancellor before the budget.
Together we proved to the Government that this campaign won’t relent; that beyond elections, parents, heads and teachers will continue to mount a serious fight to protect education. And by testing new tactics, deploying strategic communications and developing fresh activists, together with the National Education Union we made this possible.
The School Cuts Campaign is ongoing.