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Old 05-05-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
We have to go back, Kate!
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 25,377
Seriously, is there anything this shower can't fuck up?

I swear, I despair, I really do.

In the run up to the last general elections, it was becoming clear that we were most probably heading into a Conservative government (in reality we ended up with a slightly watered down Conservative government, as they hadn't secured enough of the vote to stand alone, and are now in coalition with the smallest of the three parties).

Most of us knew what to expect. Whether that was a pleasant expectation, or quiet dread, we knew there would be cuts to benefits and public services, increased marketisation of education and health, and a deepening of the divide between labour (small 'l') and the chiefs of industry (more strikes). Or, to put it another way (and in fairness how those on the right would have described it), a freeing up of services from the state monopoly, allowing for greater levels of choice and more competition to drive standards up. Along with the shrinking of gargantuan state apparatus in favour of more localised decision making.

Ok. So, whether you saw all that hoving into view like the four hosremen, or glowing like the light at the end of the tunnel, you kind of knew what was coming.

What none of us expected was the degree of utter incompetance that seems to sit at the core of the current government. The criticisms on this, by the way, come from both the right and the left.

One thing after another. And one of the areas that has been most problematic is education. First they arbitrarily ceased acting upon agreements left in place by the previous government, and which was feeding funding to schools for rebuilding projects, according to a complicated bidding and zoning formular which had taken several years and several 'rounds' and was approaching the final phase with hundreds of schools already planning and budgeting around the new builds and renovation projects.

Throwing many schools into crisis and breaching established contracts.

Gove (education wallah) had to backtrack and reexamine the upcoming projects. He drew up a list of schools that would go ahead, and those that wouldnt. Totally arbitrary. Ended up being taken to court by several schools.

That all started to level off and become less of a news, when several of the Free school and academy projects they were championing started running into various crises.

I won't bore you with the rest of the list of happenings between then and now, but this caught my eye this week:

Dozens of academies must return nearly 15m by July because of a government funding blunder, say accountants for some of the affected schools.

Figures obtained under a freedom of information request show 128 academies have been overpaid by the government.

On average, each affected school must pay back almost 118,000, according to UHY Hacker Young Accountants.

Ministers would like all English state schools to become academies, which are funded directly by Whitehall.

A government spokeswoman said: "Where pupil numbers don't match estimates, we claw back excess funding."

In a statement, the Department for Education said the current problem was caused by an old funding formula used to allocate the budgets of the older academies.

But Allan Hickie, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, told BBC News there were also errors in some of the government calculations.

"The increase in the number academies meant the government agency responsible for allocating the funding was swamped by work and this led to some of the errors.

"Some schools may not yet know they have a problem. It all depends whether their business manager has noticed they have been overpaid."

Mr Hickie added that schools with tight cash flow could be seriously affected by having to pay back the money which could amount to 10% of their budget.

He said his firm was acting for one primary school that had been overfunded by 190,000, a sum that could pay for five teachers.

This particular school only became an academy last summer.

I'm not even going to start on the university funding debacle...
There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
We have to go back, Kate!
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 25,377
Y'know, I expected them to be bastards. I did. I expected them to slash and burn all I hold dear, and yes, i expected maniacal laughter and a white cat.

But I expected them to be competant. Bastards, yes, but competant bastards.

There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #3
polaroid of perfection
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: West Yorkshire
Posts: 24,185
Was I the only one hoping for shower pics?

I know a school that's been over-funded.
They are losing a member of teaching staff next year because of this.

Hard to say who is responsible, this lot or the last.
It was a bloody big blow though.

They've also had 3.5 Teaching Assistants leave and not be replaced.
The HLTAs are teaching - Teaching - on a regular basis now. I know one who taught 5 days in one week recently. Not all day every day, but at least half a day. Wonder what University educated parents would think about that? Don't get me wrong, HLTAs follow a lesson plan and are amazing (the paperwork involved in qualifying means they have to be capable of running a small country) but it's not fair on the pupils. If they are teaching, the class misses out on having a TA. Or depends on the LSA (like me) who should be working with a named child, not taking a Guided Reading Group of higher ability children.

Life's hard you know, so strike a pose on a Cadillac
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
Nearly done.
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Teetering on the edge.
Posts: 1,052
If I had a pound for every time Torys have said they are going to sort out the country's problems then I'd be rich enough to live under one of their governments.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
We have to go back, Kate!
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 25,377
ha! sigg'd :p
There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
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