A PICNIC will take over Christchurch Green to raise awareness of school budget cuts that have left head teachers “at crisis point”.
The Redbridge Against Academisation (RAA) lobby group formed a year ago to stop the Government forcing all schools to becoming academies.
But despite the Department for Education's U-turn, RAA has continued fighting and wants to change its name to be better poised to take on more of the issues facing the borough’s schools.
Campaigner Victoria Baskerville lobbying councillors outside Redbridge Town Hall in Ilford
In its next step to ensure a better education system for Redbridge, lead campaigner Victoria Baskerville is putting on the “Big Picnic for Education” in Wanstead next week (May 24).
The mother-of-two said she “knew she had do something” when she found out secondary school head teachers had written to parents about the Government's "horrific" funding cuts.
She said: “When we read the letter we knew now was the time to act.
“We want to change our name to Redbridge for Education to widen our reach, because it’s not just about academisation anymore.
“Education should be thought of as an investment in our future, not a burden on society.
“So we want to raise awareness of what’s really going on and be a voice for all the schools in Redbridge.”
Redbridge head teachers claim they are in "crisis" over Government austerity measures
In an interview with the Guardian last month, secondary heads from across the borough admitted Government austerity measures have left them with “nowhere to turn”.
Despite cutting staff numbers and subjects like languages, music, and the arts, they are still expected to make £15 million in savings over the next three years, or £338 per pupil.
Ms Baskerville added: “Parents are really worried about these cuts.
“There’s huge concern children won’t be able to study their favourite subjects and support staff for children with special needs are having to be cut.”
Next Wednesday’s picnic is being sponsored by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Head teachers (NAHT).
Complete with cake and sandwiches, teachers, governors, parents, councillors, and union reps will give talks and be on hand with specific information on the funding pressures facing each school in the borough.
Ms Baskerville said: “If we keep networking, with the help of the national campaigns, we can really make a difference.”
The Big Picnic for Education will take place on Christchurch Green in Wanstead from 4.30pm to 6pm on Wednesday, May 24.