The whole of Kelsall Primary School turned out to protest at Government cuts that would see their academy lose £466 per pupil equivalent to two full time teachers.

Mums Jo Warner and Amanda Alexander rallied parents for the demo to protect not only their children’s education but that of youngsters up and down the country.

They hope other school communities will hold protests in a bid to persuade the Government to reverse its proposed national funding formula, which aims to be fairer but has attracted widespread criticism.

Protesters Jo Warner with her children Elodie, Harry and Sam, Amanda Alexander with her son Freddie and Cheshire West and Chester Cllr Nicole Meardon, cabinet member for children and families, at Kelsall Primary School.

Jo, from Sandiway, who was accompanied by children Sam, 10, Harry, eight, and four-year-old Elodie, said: “Fair funding for all children is really important but robbing Peter to pay Paul isn’t a solution. It just moves the problem. So it’s true that lots of schools have been underfunded but then to underfund another school to fund that school just doesn’t make sense.


“What we would like to see is more money put into the system so all children get funded fairly.”
Parents and children at Kelsall Primary School protesting against proposed government cuts that would affect their education and schools across the country. Picture: Ian Thompson

Amanda, from Kelsall, whose 10-year-old son Freddie attends the village primary, said: ”The school is trying to do their very, very best with very little funding as it is and they are being squeezed until the pips squeak. To squeeze them so they are going to lose another two teachers is absolutely ludicrous.

“Education is something that’s fundamental. It’s something that we’re very proud of in this country but it’s not going to be long before education is squeezed and it has a really big impact on the whole country and the future of our kids.”

Parent Ian Thompson, with daughters Rachel, eight, and Emily, five, at Kelsall Primary School.

Ian Thompson, from Kelsall, whose daughters Emily, five, and Rachel, eight, attend the school, said: “This is a good, well-run school. It’s Ofsted ‘outstanding’. The teachers are very capable and caring, the head is extremely good. They always need a little bit more money for one thing and another and the parents do contribute significantly.

“If there was less money it would have a significant impact in terms of the activities they can do with them in lessons. It’s a really critical stage in their development. You can just see how much they would lose because it’s a huge amount they are talking about.”

Parents and children at Kelsall Primary School protesting against proposed government cuts that would affect their education and schools across the country. Picture: Ian Thompson

Principal David Wearing said: “It’s about being able to keep the school running as it’s running now – the things we are doing for the children at the moment. National Insurance costs and pension costs are already coming in.

"We work in a multi-academy trust, so there’s ourselves, Mill View and Boughton Heath and we have made significant cost savings already in the way we pool resources. My worry is it’s going to affect front-line staff, which I don’t want to happen.”

Kelsall Primary School principle David Wearing talks to Cllr Nicole Meardon, Cheshire West and Chester Council's cabinet member for children and families.

He added: “I think the pot the Government has may be not enough.”

Cheshire West and Chester Labour councillor Nicole Meardon, cabinet member for children and families, joined the protest. She has been lobbying Government but isn’t hopeful ministers at the Department for Education are listening.

She said: “I’m just supporting the parents. Obviously this is a really important issue. Across Cheshire West our schools are facing enormous cuts. This is on top of real term cuts they face. The National Audit Office reckons schools are going to be worse off by 8% and on top of this, we’ve got this funding formula change.”

Bethany Spray with her daughter Erin, 11, and Michelle Gibson with her nine-year-old daughter Daisy protesting against proposed cuts at Kelsall Primary School.