More than 50 Birmingham schools have taken part in national social media campaign ‘Floss 4 Funding’.
The scheme aims to raise awareness of the effects of cuts to education funding ahead of this year’s budget.
At the forefront of this were the nationwide parent-led campaign group Save Our Schools.
Save Our Schools – West Midlands
Kate Taylor, co-founder of Save Our Schools West Midlands, told Birmingham Eastside how the budget cuts to education have affected the West Midlands:
“The West Midlands as a whole is seeing real term cuts of £155million. This is affecting building repairs, staffing, purchasing of essential resources [and]extra support for the most vulnerable.”
The campaign involved pupils, parents, teachers, school governors and MPs uploading a film of them doing the floss dance to social media with the hashtag #floss4funding.
The initiative was in response to official figures provided by schoolcuts.org.uk, which reveal that in Birmingham alone, there is a predicted loss of nearly £50m between 2015-2020, which is nearly £300 loss per pupil.
In the video below, parents, teachers and pupils at Holy Trinity CE Primary Academy in Handsworth tell Birmingham Eastside how budget cuts are affecting them.
‘Twitter was absolutely full of it!’
Founders of SOS West Midlands, Kate Taylor and Duncan Ali, were very impressed with the attention the campaign grabbed on social media.
Kate revealed the how it was trending in the top five on Friday.
“Floss for Funding has done exactly what we wanted it to do. It got the nation dancing, and united parents and teachers across the country in saying enough is enough, our schools need more money and our children deserve more investment.”
Birmingham MPs get involved
MPs Tracy Brabin and Bambos Charalambous drew particular attention with their tweets.
Excellent visit to @BirstallAcad meeting teachers and articulate and confident children. They even taught me how to floss #Budget2018 #Floss4Funding @DamianHinds @AngelaRayner pic.twitter.com/ZyEAbGuvcs
— Tracy Brabin MP (@TracyBrabin) October 19, 2018
SOS West Midlands’ Duncan Ali revealed that Bambos’ tweet received 8,000 views.
Delighted to have been flossing for funding at Hazelwood School this morning – I might need a few more lessons from the kids about how to floss. More funding is needed for schools right now! @fairfundschools @DemonyPie @SaveSchoolsUK #Floss4funding pic.twitter.com/9StLKqTWsS
— Bambos Charalambous MP (@BambosMP) October 19, 2018
The impact of the campaign
National organiser, Alison Ali said:
“We know from traffic that day that literally hundreds of schools took part throughout the country.”
Kate Taylor added that the campaign was a success in the West Midlands and nationwide. She said:
“Floss for funding has raised awareness of the funding crisis in schools. SOS have built strong relationships with communities and received commitments from them that the campaign will go on until all schools are funded adequately.”
Campaigners continue to spread the message in the countdown to the budget 2018 across social media, which is due to take place on Monday 29th October.
Thousands did the #FLOSS4FUNDING & there are still a few days until #budget2018 pls share this gif asking @PhilipHammondUK @DamianHinds @NickGibbUK to reverse 8% cuts to school funding.Parents are watching: we will not let our children be the lost generation #parentsteachersunite pic.twitter.com/xbL82rhd8D
— Save Our Schools UK (@SaveSchoolsUK) October 22, 2018