We Can't Allow School Funding Cuts to Become the New Normal | Freya Hope

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Justine Greening, Conservative Party MP - Secretary of State for Education
It seems like every other day there’s a story about school funding cuts, and as a 15 year old I can’t remember a time when this wasn’t the case. It’s easy to gloss over the cuts and accept them as the new normal, but it is a complete betrayal to English teenagers to ignore an issue as heartbreaking as this.

Secondary schools all over the country are struggling to cope. Creative GCSEs - dance, textiles, media - are being cut in so many areas. Some people may welcome this, but less academic subjects are a lifeline for some students and quite often make the difference between dropping out or not. They are not added bonuses, they are essential! Every young person should have the right to choose an education that suits them, whether that’s ‘soft’ subjects or the EBacc. Young people often complain that we are just being trained to spew out content that we don’t fully understand, and this will only become more accurate as more students are forced to take subjects they don’t care about.

Sixth forms, employers and universities are always on the look out for extra-curricular activities - sports, theatre, and DofE to name a few. How are working class students, who are disproportionately affected by these cuts, supposed to compete? More and more opportunities are being cut from state schools, while their private counterparts can brag about the wide range of activities they’ve been able to take part in. Theresa May’s vision of social mobility seems long gone, if it was even there in the first place. So, we’re relying on our exam results to get us where we want to be... but when you’re relying on substitute teachers because nobody can be found to stay permanently, is that really fair? Arguably though, the biggest loss from English schools is morale. Teachers and students alike are beginning to question why they put so much effort into a system that is failing them. When your school cannot afford to print your coursework, you question why. When your school cannot afford to run its after-school clubs anymore, you question why. When your school cannot afford to provide support to mentally ill students, you question why. Rants about the state of the education system and the lack of funding are now regular parts of GCSE classes. Miss, why can’t we glue this in? Miss, why can’t we print this off? How on earth have we got to the point where we cannot even provide glue-sticks to students anymore?

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And as if this wasn’t enough, teachers are having to teach for exams in 2018 that have never been sat yet. One specimen paper, perhaps two if you’re lucky, is nowhere near enough to learn from, especially when the last Year 11s had so many past papers to practice. So teachers are more overworked than ever, having to create resources off the top of their head while fully admitting they don’t yet know if it’ll prepare us for the exam. If there was any appropriate time to reduce funding by 6.5%, this is not it.

At the end of the day, statistics can be thrown around and manipulated by anybody. If we really want to understand what’s occurring in our high schools, we need to listen to the teachers and teenagers themselves, not just an oversimplified number. This situation cannot be accepted as the new normal, and we cannot stop pushing the government for answers. No young person should have to be angry at the education system like many of us are today - education should be a path to a better future! It might be too late for current Year 11s, but we have a responsibility to change things for the future generation.

By Freya Hope
We Can't Allow School Funding Cuts to Become the New Normal | Freya Hope We Can't Allow School Funding Cuts to Become the New Normal | Freya Hope Reviewed by Unknown on 07:54 Rating: 5

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