Sandbach parents protest planned school cuts

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Hundreds of parents took to the streets of Sandbach last month to campaign against school funding cuts.

The government has announced a new national formula for schools to address ‘inconsistent’ funding levels, which would amount to cuts for saome Sandbach schools.

The march against the plans started at Sandbach School and ended on the cobbles in the town centre.

Sixth Form students at some local schools also set up their own referendum on the issue.

Denis Oliver, of Holmes Chapel Comprehensive said: “Our students came up with the referendum idea to show how they felt about these proposals.

“Ballot cards showing the impact of the proposals and how children in East Cheshire are disadvantaged in relation to all of our neighbouring authorities, were produced.

“On the reverse of the card we have examples of where the proposed formula doesn’t deliver against key promises.

“The ballot boxes have been widely available and are sealed.

“We set out to collect 5,000 signatures but looking at the number of ballot boxes we have filled it feels like we have collected at least twice that.”

Sarah Burns, head teacher at Sandbach School, said: “The past few weeks have been hectic.

“The public consultation was only open for a short period of time and anyone who has tried to fill in the online questionnaire will know just how badly worded it is.

“So we have tried to make the facts clear and to give people as many ways as possible to take part.

“Make no mistake, we know that cuts in spending are going to happen but these proposals will decimate education in this area.

“We owe it to our children to stand up and be counted.”

Local MP Fiona Bruce said she hoped the campaign would cause the Government to go back to the drawing board and rethink their plans.

Pic courtesy of Jonathan White

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