Thursday, 9 March 2017

Budget 2017 Education focus

The 2017 budget, like the 8 budgets before this one, cut tax for corporations in the hope that unlike on the previous 8 occasions it might stimulate the economy, it's getting boring it's not working and we need a complete change of direction.

Much has been written about the economic failings of a Conservative government elected on the basis of economic prudence, they are now busy tearing each other apart on the decision to break a manifesto pledge not to increase the tax burden on self employed workers, so I will not add to that criticism, instead I'm writing about an area I have some knowledge; Education.

The Tories have consistently ignored the majority of children in existing schools in order to divert as much taxpayers money as they can into pet projects such as free schools and new grammar schools. This budget is no different but the disparity is stark.

There are around 22,000 state schools in England and the £216M of funding was announced in the budget for existing schools which, if distributed equally would be around £9,800 per school.

Unregulated 'free' schools and new grammar schools get a share of a bigger pot, £312M for shared between just 110 schools that's 2.9million per school.

Putting money into existing schools and increasing the number of school places in high demand areas should be a priority, instead the government remains obsessed with structures, it seems they have the preconception that local authorities, 3 tier schools and comprehensive education are all bad and should be starved of investment, and that grammar schools and free schools are the answer and despite some high profile failures of free schools and the controversy surrounding grammar schools that these should be funded at the expense of every child in an existing school.

It's a pattern we have seen before, putting the few before the many. And, like the tax on self employed workers, the matter should be reconsidered.

1 comment:

Liam Carr said...

Edit: Today it was announced that A-levels will have fewer educational visits and larger class sizes, a symptom of the diversion of funds from the many to a few.