What the cuts will mean for Brighton and Hove’s Pre-School Special Educational Needs Service

Below is an important blog by Simeon Elliott a member of the team to be disbanded. Please read it and then please please sign the petition here and spread the word.

“I know this is a long post but I would ask you all to read it as I need to tell you what is happening. Thank you. In all my working life I have never worked in a team as good as the one in which I work: the off-site team of Brighton and Hove’s Pre-School Special Educational Needs Service. This team is greatly valued by all the parents and pre-school settings in the city. We make it possible for children with the most complex special needs and disabilities to be included in mainstream schools. We offer hope to parents and carers at the critical time when they are coming to terms with the severity of their children’s needs.

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DEFEND POST 16 EDUCATION: SUPPORT TEACHERS AT SUSSEX DOWNS COLLEGE

The Campaign for Education in Brighton & Hove held a very well attended meeting on Post 16 Education only a few weeks ago and heard from sixth form and further education lecturers and managers, academics and researchers and governors about the damage being done to sixth form, further and adult education across the country. Read about this on our Post 16 page. Now one of the largest colleges in the South East is cutting A level programmes, cutting the number of teaching hours students will receive, closing a library and the student counselling service and making experienced staff redundant. These cuts severely undermine post 16 education provision in Sussex. 
Teachers at Sussex Downs College are asking us to stand up and support them against these shocking cuts.
Please sign the petition here.
If you can, please email or tweet your support with a message using #sdcstrike and ask everyone to RT – please do this on strike days if you can!
For more details: read the flyer: Defend Further Education at Sussex Downs College

DO WE NEED A FREE SCHOOL IN BRIGHTON & HOVE? PUBLIC CONSULTATION

The consultation on the proposed free school for Brighton & Hove, organised by Brighton & Hove NUT, University of Brighton UCU, Brighton & Hove Trades Council and the Campaign for Education in Brighton & Hove, was a success. Nearly 70 people attended including schools governors, a head teacher, serving teachers and lecturers, parents and local politicians. Unfortunately, Labour councillors were unable to attend but, instead, they sent a statement to the meeting that was read out. Disappointingly, the proposed sponsor for the free school – the University of Brighton Academies Trust – refused numerous invitations to attend the event or send a statement. Most importantly, the meeting agreed that the city’s children deserve the very best schools that are available and that changes to the organisation of schools and school places in the city should not be driven by the political whim of Westminster Ministers or bureaucrats. Parents need to be properly and fully consulted and at the heart of decision making. A number of actions were agreed and updates will be posted on this site (and elsewhere). Watch this space!

For now, here’s the report of some analysis carried out by the Campaign for Education that suggests there are viable and better alternatives to a free school in the city: Do we need a new free school in the city?

JOIN THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION WITH CAROLINE LUCAS MP, LOCAL COUNCILLORS, TRADE UNIONS AND THE ACADEMY TRUST:

7pm THURSDAY 18TH JUNE AT THE BRIGHTHELM CENTRE

FREE SCHOOL CONSULTATION

Challenging UKIP’s Education Policies And Views – A Statement From Those Working In Education

UKIP offers education polices that seek to divide children, to restrict what they are taught and blame children for the looming crisis in school places. As we approach a local and general election, nearly 70 people who live in Brighton & Hove and who work in education as teachers, lecturers, education support staff or other related fields have signed a statement challenging UKIP’s policies and views on education (see link below). The signatories to this statement believe that UKIP’s views and policies are not based on an understanding of education, would not improve schools and are not in the interests of all children. They know that in communities with different social, cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds, children learn much more. The diversity and inclusiveness of education enriches and broadens it. We need policies that invest in our schools, children and young people: not policies that segregate and exclude children.

Here is the statement: Statement on UKIP Education Policies

If you would like to add your name to this Statement, please email nutpaul@gmail.com

More secondary school places for Brighton but not a new Free School

Parents of Year 2 and 3 children in Brighton have received a brochure produced by the University of Brighton putting forward the case for a Free School (a type of academy) for Brighton.  Teachers and lecturers in Brighton (the very people the Government keep telling us are best placed to run schools free from external interference) believe that before parents make up their mind on this matter they might want to consider a number of questions not answered in the University of Brighton brochure. No one disputes that more places are needed but the question is: should we be finding ways of providing more places in existing schools or opening a new Free School? The funding is there and alternative options exist. Free Schools are unpopular: You Gov found only 25% support for the creation of new Free Schools; many have concluded Free Schools are socially divisive; they drain funds from education budgets that are available for all schools and the Public Accounts Committee concluded that ‘the … oversight arrangements for Free Schools are not yet working … to ensure… public money is used properly’. Take a look at the statement from the NUT and the UCU: https://anewschoolforbrighton.wordpress.com/ If you want to support the call for more accountable and inclusive local authority places instead of a Free School in Brighton – please sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/brighton-and-hove-city-council-university-of-brighton-academy-trust-create-new-secondary-school-places-for-brighton-within-local-democratic-accountability

And see the letter here from Campaign member Dave Sang, published in the Argus on Monday 27 April.