Teachers, councillors and students led a campaign in High Wycombe town centre against damaging cuts to schools on Saturday.

The group - part of a cross-party campaign called Together for Education - handed out leaflets and spoke to parents about how slashing school budgets is "really hurting" pupils.

Bucks Free Press:

The campaigners on Saturday

The Bucks Free Press revealed last week that 179 schools across the county have seen their per-pupil funding slashed as a result of government cuts since 2015 according to the website schoolcuts.org.uk.


Tony Hill a former head teacher said: “Fifty schools nationally have already made the decision to cut Friday school, 250 are reckoned to do it by September.

"Can anybody here tell me when you were told as school children that the government couldn’t afford your Friday afternoon lessons?

"It is unimaginable what is happening and the silence is absolutely deafening.”

Bucks Free Press:

Toni Brodelle, a teacher

Mr Hill's comments come after the Bucks Free Press reported in May that Cressex Community School was cutting hours on Friday afternoons because of a funding shortfall.

Toni Brodelle, a teacher of 20 years, also shared her personal experience in a speech outside All Saints Church.

She said: "Teachers are leaving the profession, the work/life balance is shocking, we are pushed to the limit.

"I would be in school before 8am, work through my break, work through my lunch, work after school, work in the evening after my children are in bed, work at the weekend and still it is not enough.

"We’re trying to paper over the cracks and cover gaps that should be funded by the government.”

Following Saturday's campaign launch, politicians and campaigners say they are hoping to visit dozens of Bucks schools to raise awareness of the impact of cuts.

Cllr Khalil Ahmed, who is Labour's parliamentary candidate, former mayor Trevor Snaith and school cuts campaigners Mike Salem and Sumayyah Ibrahim of High Wycombe Community Advocates, plan to get signatures on a petition at the school gates over the coming weeks.

This morning, they campaigned outside The Highcrest Academy, which has seen funding cuts of more than £900,000 since 2015.

Reflecting on Saturday's campaign launch, organiser Ian Morton said: “This campaign is called Together for Education because we want everyone to be involved from children to head teachers and governors.

"Schools in Bucks have lost out on over £34 million of funding because of this government's cuts in per pupil funding since 2015.

"Our campaigners will now be stepping up this campaign ahead of the Chancellor's autumn statement where he has the opportunity to reverse these school cuts and provide the investment needed to adequately fund our schools.”