7 The Last Laugh Looney Party is nearing the end of its examination of Government spending and is almost drowning under the waffle of paperwork produced to justify so much expenditure. £Billions could be saved already, but the three biggest spenders are still to come.
The first is the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, with a wacking great budget of £ 107 billion. It provides education for 4.7 million primary school children and 3.3 million secondary pupils. This is achieved with 452,000 teachers. That works out at 1 teacher for every 16 pupils, which seems considerably different to my school days.
There are also 1.6 million students in further education and 214,000 more in apprenticeships.
The Annual Report is full of acronyms :- NDPB, ESFA, STA, TRA, OCC, CITB, ECITB, FITB, FATE, OFS, SWE, SCC, STRB, SMC and probably several more letters after their name. So you had best get a GCSE in acronyms before reading the report. Goodness knows how the politicians are supposed to get a grip on this mammoth department, which probably explains why they change Secretaries of State so frequently. Gavin Hinds, Michael Gove and Gavin Williamson just in the last three years.
The Annual Report is as boring as all the others, so no “A stars“ for the teacher.
Carefully buried amongst all this guff is a note about the Student Loans Authority which sold off some of its loan portfolio and lost a billion pounds in the process. I suppose they just didn’t want to make a fuss about it. What’s a £billion between friends ?
At the end of all this I looked at the U.K. PISA tables. Nothing to do with leaning towers. PISA is the OECD programme of international student assessment, which compares educational attainment in different countries. In reading the UK ranks 13th below China, Singapore, Poland and a host of others,; similarly we are 18th in maths and 14th in science. Not exactly top of the class.
The LLLP script for Bodj’s latest broadcast on the future of education :- The DfESE should try harder, pay more attention in school and stop messing about with all the acronyms !
“As a result of Coronapop I have had to close all the schools and pay the teachers for doing nothing. The good news is that we have given all the pupils record results this year in spite of them not going to school. So in the years ahead if we carry on this way we will rise up the PISA league tables faster than Liverpool Football Club.
In the meantime the DfESE should write a hundred lines “ We won’t lose a billion pounds ever again and we are very, very sorry”.
FORECAST SAVING £ 50 BILLION