Day 195 – More Education Cuts

Yesterday the Government announced a cut of £340M by cutting 133,000 training places as part of their reduction in the further education budget.

See the full story here.

This is the same Government that is desperately trying to tell us that further major cuts will not be inevitable, that the economy will recover quickly as we spend our way out of recession, and that they would like a fourth term in office (pretty please).

Of course, after the next election (whoever wins) the real cuts are likely to be revealed, and the overly bureaucratic and costly BSF programme under real threat.

So a quick quiz question for all those in favour of change – by how much would the BSF budget have to be reduced in order for the whole two-tier project to be shelved?

Would it be unviable with only £200M? How about £100M? What about if it all disappeared? A bit like the Primary funding which is almost completely illusory according to Appendix 3 of the report.

Moreover, BSF funding is so uncertain that even other authorities in the middle of change (Suffolk) have stopped the process until there is more financial assurance.

Of course, there is more than one visionary in this Borough who would still want to change even if no money were available at all…(which of course it very nearly isn’t in the Primary sector)…

The real problem with this, however, is that change costs a vast amount of public money, time and effort, and while that is being spent attention is being diverted from teaching and learning. Which is precisely why other authorities have suffered a major dip in results during and for around 4-6 years after change, the dip being indicative of a loss of focus and morale.

The only way you can help stop this is to contact the councillors and let them know that you think.

You only have until Monday evening to help save the education of a generation of children.


3 Responses to Day 195 – More Education Cuts

  1. Martin Hamilton says:

    I see from the FT that many top council chiefs will be considering their positions:

    “Many council chief executives are likely to quit their posts, faced with a “perfect storm” budget cuts, attacks from politicians and the media, and increased scrutiny of their pay, their representative body has warned.”

    As far as the budget cuts go:

    “There is likely to be at least a 10 per cent budget squeeze from next year, possibly more if the Conservatives win the next general election expected in May.”

    If councillors vote yes it won’t end the uncertainty – the funding uncertainty will remain but the loss of morale which has been longstanding in some areas of the system will just get worse. In less than 18 months time there may well be local politicians campaigning to stop unpopular closures like in Suffolk.

    And then there will be the lower schools, hit particularly badly by the looming lack of finance and realising that the facilities they perhaps naively thought they were going to get or perhaps even were told they were going to get may have to be put on hold. So then there may well be local politicians claiming that the project hadn’t been thought through properly and that the local councillors had not protected their schools.

    It is going to be messy.

  2. River Song says:

    Last night I was at an open evening for a lovely Middle School. This morning, one parent who had been there too said ,”I now know why you go on about that school. It looked fantastic last night. It really is a lovely place for the children to be.”

    Listen, decision makers, to the voice of the parents.
    Look at the evidence and consider what the future will be if you go ahead with this change. There is no money for the new primary schools and there will not be shiny new school buildings if we go ahead. At what point would it be sensible to realise that? Now, surely, not when we are in the process of change like Suffolk.

  3. Martin Hamilton says:

    Finance portfolio holder Michael Headley made it clear to everyone there at the Executive council meeting last night that the proposals for funding the lower-primary switch were not adequate and primary schools would therefore not be fit-for-purpose as a result of the reorganisation. He also made it clear that those voting for the proposals as they stand should not imagine any more funding will be available from elsewhere and indeed there may be less than assumed in the report.

    So the hope presumably would be that over the next 10-20 years the money will gradually come in to complete the job.

    Answers to questions on the proposed 3-tier at Sharnbrook and Mark Rutherford on separate sites were that the accountability, leadership, staff, ethos etc would be common and so that would be OK.

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