Parents’ priorities for recovery in education

What parents want to see in recovery

After two incredibly disrupted years, schools are back.   Now it is time for recovery in education:   recovery that goes beyond “catching up” to addressing the long-standing problems that the COVID crisis revealed so clearly.

This hard-hitting report based on a nationwide survey of nearly 3000 parents reveals parents’ priorities are clear: 

  1. A focus on mental health and wellbeing
  2. A forward-looking curriculum and assessment system
  3. Closing the long-standing attainment gap for disadvantaged children and sufficient support for children with SEND

Achieved by long-term investment direct to schools.

Quote from report

Parents are shocked and disappointed by the current curriculum and by the pressure placed on children by statuary assessment.  They are not supportive of “catch up” policies and want real change. Our survey also revealed a shocking lack of trust in government ministers, while trust in schools and teachers remains high.

This hard-hitting report, produced by parental campaign Save Our Schools,  summarises the survey findings with shocking stats and quotes from parents and easy-to-access graphics.

Image of report what parents want to see in recovery
New report reveals parents’ priorities for recovery in education

Please use the content of this report to champion parents’ perspectives in forthcoming debates about recovery in education and the investment required achieve it.

We need to seize the opportunity to move beyond “catch up” and toward a real recovery within education.  Our future in an uncertain Post-COVID world depends on it.

Download the report here:   SOS_Survey_Recovery in Education_Sept21



General Election 2019: Keep education funding on the political agenda

Parents STILL fighting for proper school funding
Show you value education by putting a poster in your window

The General Election on 12 December 2019 is our biggest ever opportunity to hold politicians to account and put the school funding crisis at the top of the political agenda.    Show all political candidates that you value education by putting one of our hard-hitting posters in your window.

The school funding crisis is ongoing and, for many schools, it’s about to get worse.      After years of cuts,  our schools cannot afford any more empty promises or short-term fixes.     Our schools need funding NOW.


Facts about school funding:

  • 83% of schools will still lose out next year because of government cuts
  • Over 16,000 schools will have less money per pupil in 2020 than they had in 2015
  • Right now, up to 8,587 children and young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) have no access to any type of educational provision.
  • By 2023, schools will still be £3.6 billion short of what they need to provide a good education for all pupils
  • The £7 billion promised by the current government will not come close to restoring school funding to 2010 levels

If a general election is called, let’s make sure all political  parties know that our schools need funding NOW!     Don’t hide behind the sofa when the canvassers ring! Let them know you care and  challenge their pledges.

Keep  the pressure on so political parties’ promises turn into proper funding.

Print one of our hard-hitting posters NOW! 

Choose your fave from the selection below:


Poster- backing our schools gets my vote - Save our schools - fund our future
During the local election campaign, show canvassers from all parties what you care about.

Ballot box in yellow
Ballot box (b/w printer friendly)

Printed versions will be distributed at schools around the city.  If you would like a print copy, or would be willing to give them out outside your school, please email us at .

Give Me 5 : School funding protest Friday 5 July

Give Me 5 - Friday 5 July
Schools all over the country are being forced to close at lunchtime on Fridays in order to remain within their budgets.  Many schools that have not yet taken this drastic measure are being forced to consider it.  Could your school be next?
On 5 July, parents and children are joining forces to remind the government of their statutory obligation to fund schools properly.   Give Me 5!
Give Me 5:  descend on Westminster
On Friday 5 July,  parents and children will descend on Westminster to ask the question – who will educate my child on Friday afternoon?   Sympathetic MPs from all parties are going to meet us outside parliament and run activities for the children to keep them entertained. 
Will you join us?  Funding is available to support travel costs for parents and children.   Contact us at for more info.
Give Me 5:  where you are and on social media

Take part in Give Me  5 where you are!   Children, parents, teachers, whole schools and politicians can join in the Give Me 5 action in your own creative way.

Some ideas: 
  • Share  5 things that happen in your school on a Friday afternoon
  • Ask your child to write their 5 favourite things about school on a large hand shape
  • Write your personal message on your hand
  • One prominent MP will be doing a running high five down a line of school children!!!

What will you do?    Film or photograph your action and share on social media on 5 July 2019     #GiveMe5 #SaveOurSchools

Show your support for schools: put a poster in your window

Poster- backing our schools gets my vote - Save our schools - fund our future
Show you care: download one of  our hard-hitting posters – see below!

The school funding crisis is ongoing. Brighton and Hove schools lost more than £15 million between 2015 and 2019 and our children are feeling the impact.

Local elections will take place on May 2. Make sure canvassers know you care about education and challenge them on their actions.

Even though decisions about funding are not made at a local level, political parties want to know what voters care about. Your message that you are concerned about school funding WILL be fed back to the national level.

Print one of our hard-hitting posters NOW! 

Choose your fave from the selection below (ours is definitely ballot box!)

Ballot box in yellow
Ballot box (b/w printer friendly)
I am a parent and I am STILL angry (pink)
I am a parent and I am STILL angry (b/w printer friendly)
SOS stars to colour in 
SOS stars in yellow

Printed versions will be distributed at schools around the city.  If you would like a print copy, or would be willing to give them out outside your school, please email us at .



Floss4Funding National Day of Action against school funding cuts Friday 19 Oct
Get flossing4funding on Friday 19 October!

On 19 Oct, people all over the country will be taking action against school funding cuts : we’re flossing 4 funding.  You can join us!  Toolkit of useful resources below.

We will show Phillip Hammond, Nick Gibb and Damian Hinds just how many parents, carers, and grandparents, like heads, teachers and governors, are deeply concerned about the school funding crisis and the damage it is doing to our children. 

There have been 8% cuts to pupil funding since 2010, our schools and children are suffering.    Headteachers say “there’s nothing left to cut!”

Tell the Chancellor #budget2018 must fund our schools properly and undo the damage.

Do the Floss4Funding!
Here’s how it works.

The action will take place on Friday 19 Oct – it doesn’t matter if its morning, afternoon, night, but it will have more impact if it is all on the same day.

  1. Get parents, teachers, kids ( or friends, family, sports team,  or work colleagues) together  – in a playground, staffroom, on the train.  Get creative!
  2.  Do the floss and film it  (better if there is some music!)
  3. Include in the film basic info about who and where you are – eg by holding up paper with it scribbled on or (if you know how, add it afterwards)
  4. Post your film on twitter, facebook or Instagram* on Friday 19 Oct with the following message:

[insert school or local authority name here] parents say: 8% cuts to pupil funding since 2010, our schools and children are suffering.    Listen to parents and pupils. #budget2018 must fund our schools properly and undo the damage.
#floss4funding #parentsteachersunite #budget2018

Make sure that Philip Hammond, Damian Hinds, Nick Gibb and your local MP see your floss by tagging them.

On Twitter:  @DamianHinds @nickgibbuk @PhilipHammondUK @YourLocalMP*
On Facebook:  @nickgibbofficial @damian.hinds @hmtreasury @YourLocalMP*
Instagram: details tbc – we’re not sure Phil Hammond has an insta account ; )

*to find your MP social media handle go to type in your postcode and select “profile

Start telling other people about Floss4Funding on Friday 19 October  and get practicing your floss!


You can share this video to raise awareness – but if you are using facebook, please share the version on our facebook page as it will get shared much more widely.

A brilliant video from Save Our Schools West Sussex  to share.

You can download, print and customise this  floss for funding_poster
Proper old school.

Get one of these on your social media profile to tell the world you are flossing for funding.

Get yourself a social media banner

And finally – you can tell local media about your Floss4Funding with this Customisable  Press Release – Day of Action 19 October     Don’t forget to customise though!

Good luck!   And most of all please remember to post your floss online on 19 Oct!

Headteachers explain why they are marching for funding on Friday 28th Sept

Share this image or make your own headstand image to show your support for the headteachers’ march!  #headstandingwithheads #stillnotlistening #parentsteachersunite #saveourschools @DamianHinds @PhilHammondUK

On 28th September over 1,000 headteachers will march on Westminster to ask for more funding.    When headteachers revolt, things must be bad.    Here we share the letter that has gone out to tens of thousands of parents across the country in full.

We stand with all headteachers marching on Friday.     Show your support by sharing this image on social media or making your own – details on hashtags etc below.

But first, here’s that letter in full:

Dear Parent or Carer

Mass Headteacher Action – 28 September 2018

I am making contact to let you know that on Friday 28 September, I will be joining hundreds of other Headteachers from across the country in support of a mass event intended to gain much improved funding for all schools.

Headteachers will have the full support of their Governing Bodies/Trusts as we continue to champion the best possible funding for all our schools. I will remain steadfastly determined, relentlessly reasonable and act without any political bias. These have been the hallmarks of our campaign work to date.

You will be aware of the challenges that schools up and down the country are facing. A mixture of rising costs and stresses on other support services has meant that for many years we have been being asked “to do more with less”.

Under a challenging period of austerity for the Government we understand that there is not a bottomless pit of money. Accordingly, schools have played their part to work even harder and with greater efficiency on behalf of the children and families that we serve.

It is clear to all Headteachers, however, that matters are unsustainable. Frequently, we do not have enough money to meet the demands placed on our schools. On the ground, services and resources are cut to the bone and class sizes are increasing. At times, schools are even having to prop up our budgets with monies that should be targeted at those students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds, or those that have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Under the umbrella of the campaign group ‘Worth Less?’, Headteachers have shone a light on the funding difficulties that we are facing. We acknowledge that the Government should be given credit for introducing a new National Funding Formula. Unfortunately, however, the formula itself is not adequately resourced/funded and therefore our budgets remain in an unacceptably poor state.

In July, the Institute for Fiscal Studies echoed what we have been saying for a long time and confirmed that, in real terms, school budgets have been slashed by 8% since 2010.

It is simply not good enough for the Government to state that “more money is spent on schools than ever before”, when independent evidence clearly states that in real terms, this is simply not the case.

Headteachers will gather at Downing Street to insist that the chancellor and his colleagues at the Department for Education use the upcoming autumn statement to invest properly in our schools and your child’s education. Many of the real terms cuts to our budgets should be reversed and urgent investment is required for SEND and post-16 budgets.

The support that we have enjoyed from parents and carers has been very welcome and we will continue to update you on all of our forthcoming actions. We are determined to campaign until a much better and fairer settlement is reached in order to support your child/children and the future prosperity of the country as a whole.

Yours faithfully,

Headteachers up and down the country

Its scary to hear, and  scary for heads to be taking this radical step.  Lets show our support.   Share the image above with the message below to show we are united in standing up for our children’s future.

On 28th September, 1000 headteachers will march on Downing St to demand that 8 years of #schoolcuts are reversed . We stand with them.  Share this message or do a headstand of your own to show your support!!  #headstandingwithheads #stillnotlistening #parentsteachersunite #saveourschools @DamianHinds @PhilHammondUK

SOS launches call for the real stories behind School Cuts

Save Our Schools (SOS) Brighton & Hove is today launching a citywide callout to teachers and parents to share their stories revealing the true cost of underfunding in the school system. Watch our film about the impact of cuts and why it is important to speak out about them.

We have already unearthed stories of sick teachers not being replaced by qualified staff; experienced teachers priced out of the classroom in favour of staff on lower pay grades; and of the parents of a child suffering from debilitating anxiety who were told he is not high need enough to access much reduced counsellor provision. Many more stories are expected to emerge over the coming weeks and months,   read them here and share your own story

#CutsTheRealStories comes in response to the discovery that teachers are caught in a Catch 22 situation when faced with the decision about speaking out or staying quiet about the state of their schools as a result of crippling funding cuts.

Last year we conducted a survey of 50 schools across Brighton & Hove to find out how they were coping with the cuts. You can see the results in the Catalogue of the Cuts .  The findings completely contradicted Government rhetoric claiming that schools were better funded than ever, yet when Save Our Schools asked Headteachers to comment they found many were too afraid to speak out about for fear of reprisal.

Save Our Schools are encouraging anyone who has a story to tell about the impact of the cuts to speak out – whether anonymously or not.

The only way the Government will acknowledge the extent of the crisis is by schools, parents and pupils speaking out and sharing the stories that the Government doesn’t want us to hear.    Share your story now.

#CutsTheRealStories #saveourschools

Squeezed budgets are driving experienced teachers out of the classroom

Cuts are forcing teachers out of the classroom: sparking a reliance on expensive consultants for expertise and endless rounds of recruitment.

We often hear of the teacher recruitment crisis, but that’s putting the cart before the horse. The real issue is retention. Until that’s been addressed, what’s the point of recruiting, only for teachers to leave? Squeezed budgets are leading to the loss of support staff – from teaching assistants to admin support – and swelling class sizes. This is adding to an already punishing workload, putting even more pressure on teachers who are already struggling to cope.

I’ve been concerned about the loss of experience from the classroom, and schools are increasingly shunning experience by advertising jobs specifically for newly or recently qualified staff, or for teachers on the main pay scale only. Some are saving money by ‘encouraging’ – in some cases by unethical means – experienced teachers to leave.  Obviously schools then have to mitigate the loss of accrued knowledge and expertise, perhaps by turning to expensive ‘consultants’ or adding to the ranks of ‘advisors’. It’s also a false economy in the sense that in the current climate recently qualified teachers are more likely to leave teaching altogether, meaning another expensive recruitment process.

Hidden scandal of the erosion of SEND services

What follows is a personal story, but I am writing it is an illustration of what is happening in SEND services across the land. Last September I retired after 32 years of being a teacher, mostly in Local Authority SEND support services and special facilities. I took early retirement at 55 because I couldn’t tolerate the stress of working twice the number of contracted hours that I was supposed to work, due to absurd workload, and the stress of feeling that I was failing vulnerable children and their families.

This workload increase, and reduced provision for children, was caused by covering the work of other people whose posts had been “deleted” in response to government cuts (the loss of the Revenue Support Grant and the real terms diminution of the High Needs Block which LAs receive to pay for SEND services, special schools and EHCPs).

To make it worse, most LAs SEND support services have been marketised: schools have to pay for them – but from nothing!  With schools having ever reducing budgets they stop purchasing LA services, then more cuts are made to services, and teachers workloads increase, and the services to children and parents decline; and then the remaining services are deemed to be of little help by schools and parents, because they don’t have enough staff to do a good job any more.

This is happening across the land  – SEND services evaporating everywhere – and on the whole only the parents of children effected and the teachers in those services really know the size of the cuts and the size of workload the remaining teachers face.