In January, long before Theresa May panicked and called a General Election, the SKWAWKBOX reported the phenomenon of lifelong Tory voters, even in traditionally Tory areas, switching to Labour because of the Conservative party’s assault on the NHS:
Since Labour’s party political broadcast on the subject last week, reports are starting to reach the SKWAWKBOX of a similar trend caused by Tory funding cuts to education, with the situation described by these Twitter users typical:
I showed https://t.co/GfgbTClsZB to a colleague and it has made him question allegiance to Tory Party. Gambling with our kids future!
— Alex Lee (@Run_Al3x) April 24, 2017
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) school-cuts calculator referred to seems to be playing a significant part in this phenomenon – and Labour’s firm policy position on education appears to have played a major role in that.
In spite of a 2015 manifesto promise to ring-fence and protect education funding, the Tories have inflicted severe cuts on schools – cuts that the NUT app allows any UK resident to see the impact of those cuts on their local schools.
And those cuts are biting deep, as these social media comments make clear:
In fact, in many areas, the effect is even more severe than the net cuts, as the Tories have been caught moving funds from Labour-run areas to Tory held ones in order to soften the impact of the funding reductions and shore up their support.
Reduced staffing, no books – and head teachers are even forced to consider reducing the school week to try to cope with the Tory-imposed crisis that has one head described as a ‘tsunami’ at this weekend’s NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers) conference:
— Schools Week LIVE (@SchoolsWeekLive) April 29, 2017
On Saturday, the SKWAWKBOX spoke to NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney, who told this blog about the situation facing schools and the impact of Labour’s schools promises:
We’ ve seen a huge increase in traffic to our schools cuts site – and it was already high. From October last year to last week, there had been three million views. The NUT is not affiliated to Labour [the union voted against affiliation by the narrowest of margins at its recent conference] but after last week’s party political broadcast with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell talking about education cuts we saw half a million hits last weekend alone and we’re really pleased to see education is the number three issue that people consider important for this election.
The Tories big problem is that they broke their manifesto promise to protect school funding. Half of schools in the country are facing cash-terms cuts and the other half are facing real-terms cuts in funding.
The effects of the cuts are manifesting everywhere: class sizes going up, cuts to lessons in art, drama and other subjects, reductions in staff numbers. We want people to be asking their candidates what they will do about it – and asking the Tories why they broke their manifesto promise.
This increased awareness of the impact of broken Tory promises on education will certainly have contributed to the huge swing in voting intention reported by polling companies after just 10 days of campaigning.
It seems people are waking up to this simple fact: if the Tories – as they clearly do – break even firm manifesto promises that deprive our children, then what can they be trusted on in this election?
If you haven’t already done so, check the impact of the Tories’ broken promise here – then get your neighbours, friends and family to do so – and ask them to vote for Labour, the party that can be trusted on education and can get into government to do something about it.
Your children, grandkids, nieces, nephews and their education depend on it.
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