PICTURES: Can you spot yourself in Lancaster school march?
Thousands attended a school march in Lancaster at the weekend to protest against school budget cuts.
Families, children, parents and grandparents held banners demanding immediate action to tackle what school governors are describing as a “systematic starvation of funds to the education sector”.
Deborah Finn, who runs Lancaster People’s Cafe, went to the march in a Dalek costume as a swipe at the government’s “strong and stable” mantra.
There was a carnival atmosphere during the event, but speeches took on a more serious note.
Morecambe Bay Primary School headteacher Siobhan Collingwood, who addressed crowds gathered in Dalton Square said she had never known a crisis like the one schools now faced.
She said: “There’s a £3bn black hole in funding.
“The National Audit Office have told the government that their lies are inappropriate. We don’t have time to play about with lies about this amount of money or that amount of money.
“We can’t make these savings from photocopiers and from electricity bills. It’s an insult to say that’s what we can do.”
Cat Smith, prospective parliamentary candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood, told crowds in Dalton Square a personal story about her parents and grandparents, and of how her dad was “let down by the education system.”
She said he was told he was a failure aged 10, but went on to go to university in Lancaster.
Ms Smith said she was brought up in a household where education was valued, and her mum had just retired as a teaching assistant.
Many teaching assistant roles in schools across Morecambe and Lancaster are under threat.
She said: “I’m worried about the impact this will have on generations to come. I’m campaigning for us to value education. Education can turn lives around...and it can improve health and mental wellbeing as well.”
Angela Rayner Labour’s shadow education secretary, also attended the event in Lancaster on Saturday.