Day 131 – BSF in the News

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.

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2 Responses to Day 131 – BSF in the News

  1. Martin Hamilton says:

    Report on Radio 4 this am in the context of the need for responsible fiscal measures suggest that the public debt will rise to £1500 billion from its current £1000 billion over the next few years. At interest rate of 5% that would be an extra 25 billion per year just on interest payments before we started to pay it back. This at a time when tax take is falling and costs of unemployment rising. BSF at 55 billion over ?5-10 years doesn’t seem too large when compared with this. Nevertheless, which political party would own up to putting 1p on the basic rate of tax(raises 10billion p.a.) specifically to fund BSF?

  2. JamesD says:

    I still believe that the Officers fallback position will be massive Primary Schools (800 – 1000pupils) on the Middle School sites when the money runs out. That plus cutting the schools’ annual grant by 4% to 5% for 20 years could see the Borough just about scrape through. If an education officer of John Goldsmith’s experience thinks that changing busses in the middle of Bedford twice a day is sufficient for 11 year olds then shutting all of the small lower schools will not take much more thought!

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