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European Schools to Face €7 Million Cuts

Submitted by on May 27, 2011 – 5:55 pmNo Comment

EU school cuts protest in Brusells.

Plans to cut EU funding to a network of 14 ‘European Schools’ have been condemned by a parents’ association leader.

Synchronicity Magazine has learned that the schools, which encourage children of different European nationalities to study together, are facing budget cuts of €7m (£6.17m) out of their total €164m EU budget from next September.

It is the first major budget cut the schools, which are based in seven different EU states, have faced in their 58-year-history. The UK’s European School is based in Culham, Oxfordshire. Students, parents and teaching staff have demonstrated in opposition to these austerity measures last month, with 1,500 people gathering in Luxembourg (pictured) and 3,000 in Brussels, according to reports.

Ian Dennis, president of the parents’ association of the European School of Luxembourg, told Synchronicity: “These budget cuts are not being completely thought through and the European Union could save money in other ways. What’s more, the cuts will change a system that has worked well and in the same way for the past 50 years.” He added: “The budget cuts are being unevenly distributed, other solutions should be explored.”

According to a joint press release put out by the various European Schools parent and staff associations, the cutbacks will affect mother tongue teaching and support to pupils with learning difficulties. Parents also fear bigger class sizes.

In response to a letter protesting against the planned budgetary restrictions, signed by parents and staff, European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič said that he was “aware of expressed concerns”, but that “some reforms and savings have to be found in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of European Schools”.

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