Yesterday, Michael Gove, the high-profile Shadow Children’s Secretary, criticised openly the Building Schools for the Future programme, revealing that £170M had been spent on consultants with hardly any improvement to schools.
This was immediately rebutted by Ed Balls, who said that the BSF funding was not safe in the Conservatives’ hands and that they planned to make big cuts.
All good party political stuff which you can read more about here.
Both Michael and Ed seem to be saying things that are probably true though. The BSF programme is a bureaucrat’s dream, creating reams of paper, reports, feasibility studies, planning meetings, jobs for the boys, etc. Anything to avoid spending money on real children, real teachers and real schools. Any Civil Service scheme would be; will be, even under a Conservative administration.
The next Government, moreover, will almost certainly be forced to make cuts, and it might not just be the blues that do that; the reds, should they make a miraculous recovery in the polls, would almost certainly be forced to make huge cuts too.
It’s not about party politics here – it’s about the inability of politicians to control bureaucratic programmes.
The really interesting thing though, is that the Conservatives are so high profile on Education. Lots more changes ahead methinks.