Josh Asker, Southampton Socialist Party
Hundreds of parents and their children marched through Southampton on 27 May. They were joined by teaching assistants,teachers, school governors and headteachers from across the city.
Called by ‘Fair Funding for All Schools‘, the protest united the forces of parents with the major education unions.
Parents spoke passionately about the need for quality education and their appreciation for the work of school staff. Parents have also responded enthusiastically to a defiant group of headteachers in the city who are setting deficit budgets, unwilling to make redundancies and steadfastly ensuring that students’ needs are met.
This stand from headteachers is an excellent example toSouthampton Labour councillors, including council leader and parliamentary candidate Simon Letts who spoke from the platform. He was clearly forced to the left after a Socialist Party member’s introduction as “teaching assistant and socialist” was met with enthusiastic cheers.
Events are politicising thousands of people, demonstrated by the numbers of parents putting themselves forwards to speak from the platform for the first time to denounce the Tories and the cuts.