The Government must do better


reportAlthough the Government has backed down from forcing all Schools to become Academies, it has still to deliver on its previous ruling that all ‘failing’ schools should become academies. According to a recent study, there are at least 26 Schools judged by OFSTED to be inadequate more than a year ago without a sponsoring trust willing to turn the School into an Academy. The problem appears to be largely due to the failure by the Government to offer an attractive enough incentive to offset the challenges implicit in the Schools in question. The condition of the buildings is one of the reasons given, where the cost of bringing up the sites to an acceptable standard is blocking these arrangements. This news was published at the same time as Michael Gove has admitted (on Sundays Marr programme) that he was wrong and being arrogant (not the word he used) in suspending the building Schools for the Future Progamme when he came into post in 2010. It is a travesty that the condition of buildings continues to be an issue for our education system nearly 7 years after that programme was scrapped. I have written before about the wasteful way in which new Governments scrap programmes simply because they did not invent them, themselves. Every pound of waste is a pound that could have been spent on bringing the condition of these Schools up to an acceptable standard. The same is true of the £60M per year for a 4 year period that Philip Hammond has ring fenced for this Governments latest pet project, the reintroduction of the divisive Grammar Schools. If the total spend of £240M was instead spent on the 26 Schools, each one of them would be in a far better shape and the future pupils would be able to work in much better conditions than at present. This Government used to regularly ridicule Labour for not repairing the roof when the sun was shining, perhaps they should look at their own record of mending school roofs!

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About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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