The Red Cross are in the news this week reporting that the NHS is at crisis point and that they are assisting in the effort to get as many people safely through the winter as possible. This makes me wonder who is going to rescue Education when it gets to its inevitable tipping point from lack of funding.
My county is one of the worst funded in England and we had high hopes that the long promised National Funding Formula would restore some balance to the per pupil funding situation. However, the recently published consultation paper suggests that we will be financially even worst off under the initial shake up!
This doesn’t make sense. Are the powers that be planning to cut everyone back to the bone to see on what absolute minimum we can maintain an outstanding Ofsted judgement? Are they trying to push us into forming massive trusts (because that is really working for the NHS!)? Are they hoping that lack of funds will force us to find innovative ways of educating the next generation?
I’m not a teacher, I won’t try to tell anyone the most effective way of teaching the Harrys and Olivias of the current cohort, but I can tell you how to do it more cheaply – cut staff (teaching and support), increase class sizes, cut resources (especially IT), join schools together to drive up buying power (and cut staff again – mostly support this time) sell off valuable school assets (land?) and expensive to maintain old buildings and throw up something modular and cheap to run.
There is nothing innovative about that. But does it make for an effective education? I would guess not. So I’m hoping that the NSPCC are going to be on standby in a few years time to bail us out when the capacity of schools to educate children on tuppence ha’penny a year starts to show!