MP leaves son on Downing Street steps in school funding protest

Friday, July 5, 2019

Labour MP Jess Phillips left her 10-year-old son on the steps of 10 Downing Street as part of a protest against school funding cuts.

Ms Phillips said the brief demonstration was to reflect the government's responsibility to care for and educate the nation's children on a Friday afternoon, as an increasing number of schools are closing early due to tight budgets.

The Birmingham Yadley MP is one of hundreds who have descended on London's Parliament Square today highlighting the issue of schools across the country having to shut their doors prematurely.

"My older son is at secondary school, he has to go for school for five days. Why is it different for my younger son Danny?," Ms Phillips told talkRADIO.

"The government owes us education for our children five days a week."

Jess Phillips left her 10-year-old son outside Number 10 as part of the protest

Children, parents and teachers from Birmingham, Stockport, Leicester, Sussex, Hertfordshire and Wiltshire were among the protesters.

Ms Phillips, whose son Danny attends a school in Birmingham which now closes early, added: "This is the very harsh end of what austerity has done to our schools."

"I am not just a policymaker, I am also a parent. The reality is this is affecting people across the country. It is affecting members of the House of Commons."

She continued: "It is Theresa May's responsibility to look after our children. The government has a responsibility to offer universal education five days a week and they are degrading that."

However, a Department for Education spokesman insisted that primary schools in Birmingham received enough to cover a full, five-day week.

"The funding for an average primary class of 28 in Birmingham is £125,000 - above the national average of £115,000 for an equivalent sized class," they said.

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