On behalf of the British and Irish Group of Teachers Unions, we send greetings and support to the United for Education Coalition on their day of action. We believe that our governments are committing a huge and historic mistake in launching further attacks on our education systems. We recognize that the disastrous cuts to further and higher education in Britain are part of an accelerating wider offensive against state education that threatens to reverse the democratic advances of the postwar period, which saw the extension of access to education to all the peoples of our communities as a right. We believe that this offensive will have the effect of widening inequality and betraying a generation of our young people, as well as further marginalizing the millions who find themselves unemployed during this recession. We also reassert our belief that equal access to good quality education is a condition of economic prosperity and that this attack, which appears to be undertaken in the interests of a narrow business community, threatens to further weaken the economies of Britain and Ireland. We absolutely endorse the United for Education coalition’s call for education to be protected and for a return to sustainable, publicly controlled funding for education and we will work to extend the unity shown within the coalition in the cause of defending our education system as a whole.
“The proposed cuts are alarming. The government is sacrificing the future of thousands of children to service a few hundred already wealthy businesses.” – Jeremy Parker, deputy-chairman of the education think-tank School Solutions.
“This is deeply disturbing. Over many decades, we in this country have worked to create a school system that is accessible for all. It’s not as perfect as we all would like, but it’s still worth fighting for. Our government is sabotaging that achievement with these attacks against public education.” – Michael Simmons, head of education and training at Discovery Learning Ltd.
“We will not stand for this. All who care about British education must oppose the planned cuts. We cannot simply stand by and do nothing as the our most cherished educational values are thrown out of the window”. – Alan Smith, headteacher at St. Monty’s Grammar School.
Education is under attack.
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- Over £1bn has been cut from higher education budgets over the next three years.
- Thousands of jobs already gone.
- Thousands more at risk.
- For the first time in decades our education system is shrinking and the barriers to access are rising.
- Current and future generations are at risk of being locked out of our education system.
Staff and students have united in an unprecedented sector-wide coalition to oppose the cuts.