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Havering Sixth Form College teachers strike against 'savage cuts'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 November 2019

Teachers at Havering College Sixth Form were one of many colleges striking on Wednesday, November 20. Picture: Kieran Clements

Teachers at Havering College Sixth Form were one of many colleges striking on Wednesday, November 20. Picture: Kieran Clements

Teachers at Havering Sixth Form College took a day of strike action to protest at "savage cuts" to education funding from the government.

Havering Sixth Form College students protested government cuts outside the college in Wingletye Lane on Wednesday, November 20. Picture: John DelaneyHavering Sixth Form College students protested government cuts outside the college in Wingletye Lane on Wednesday, November 20. Picture: John Delaney

National Education Union (NEU) members who work in Havering Sixth Form College joined a nationwide strike on Wednesday, November 20.

The teachers are in dispute with the government and not the college itself as they aim to raise awareness about a £700million shortfall in funding for post-16 education.

Kieran Clements, a teacher at the college, told the Recorder: "Causing disruption to learning is the last thing we would want to do, but savage cuts to our funding have left us with very few options.

"The college is well run and is in no immediate danger, but it is getting harder for all sixth forms to do the best they can for their learners.

"Things have to change."

NEU hopes that parties campaigning for the general election on December 12 will consider increasing funding for sixth form colleges.

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They hope that this funding will then go towards reversing job losses, class size increases and cuts to teaching time and curriculum provision.

The teachers also want to sustain fair pay and improve their conditions and employment.

John Delaney from NEU added: "Havering Sixth Form College was only one of 34 colleges on strike today across the country.

"There is a funding shortfall of £700million across the whole sector and in Havering Sixth Form College the shortfall in 2021, based on current government figures, will be £1.1million.

"These cuts will be very damaging for the education of sixth formers in the borough."

The teachers stood outside the college in Wingletye Lane with protest signs and a banner that said they were standing up for education.

Principal Paul Wakeling said: "Our chief executive, Gerry McDonald, and I, have lobbied the government tirelessly for improved funding, and will continue to do so with the new government.

"We are committed to use any increase in funding to allow us to continue to implement nationally negotiated pay awards as well as to improve facilities and resources for our students."

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