The government wants to recruit up to 100,000 existing and former teachers to act as tutors to pupils falling behind in English and maths. There are worse ways of spending the money. Let’s hope it does help lift standards.
It leaves open the quesiton of why, after 12 years of large increases in cash for inner city and poorer performing schools are so many young people still in need of this extra teaching? What has gone wrong with Labour’s target driven top down system? Where has all the money gone that they have spent so far?
The government itself now says it wishes to end the top down system, and give more power to individual schools, Heads and senior teachers. This has been the Opposition’s song for years. Apparently the time for targets has passed, and the time for devolution has arrived.
The government has found some more money for this project – in other words it is going to borrow more. Given the size of the budget deficit, shouldn’t it be identifying items of spending elsewhere that are less desirable than this teaching project? Why doesn’t it listen to to the Commons, voting against more regional government this week, and make some economies there? If it can now see how unpopular its top down bureaucracy in education is, why can’t it see how more unpopular its heavy handed regional bureaucracy is in England? Why does it want to balkanise England?