Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fantasy Land ...

I've already outlined what I think of the main 'school-based', education commitments from the SNP May 2007 election manifesto ... after only 1-year, they're already - frankly - a busted-flush :-(

... so, it comes as no surprise to see that BBC Scotland are leading on a class-size story today. Have a quick look at the detail in the story:

  • Scotland needs an additional 2,173 teachers to deliver P1/2/3 class-sizes of 18 or less
  • that will cost an additional (and recurring) £62million per year
  • in order to accommodate these classes, Scotland needs 900 additional classrooms
  • that will cost an additional (one-off) amount of £360million

... but, don't worry, everything is okay because (go on, read the article):

  • the Scottish Government gave Councils an extra £40million (this year only!)
  • that was just to keep teacher numbers static - NOT to increase them
  • there are falling school-roles, so its easy to achieve smaller class-sizes with the same number of teachers, isn't it?
  • no mention of very recent local SNP reaction/s to such an assumption??

  • so, £40million this year when the Scottish Government claims the settlement to Local Government rose by 5%
  • but, hold on, that £40million hasn't recruited one new teacher - just kept numbers static at 53,000 across Scotland
  • and the Local Government settlement (revenue), as acknowledged by the Scottish Government, shows a decreasing rate of growth in the next 2-years ... 4.1% and 3.4%

  • so, can we be certain of £40million next year?
  • what about the minimum requirement of £62million, will that ever be given??
  • what about the capital requirements of £360million???
  • and what about local "SNP reality" as opposed to this educational 'fantasy land' we're being fed by the Scottish Government ...

Lower class sizes - yes please ... but its not free, in fact its very, very expensive; and when Local Government fails to deliver P1/2/3 class-sizes of 18 or less by May 2011, I can but hope-in-vain that someone, somewhere, will remember who is responsible?

I don't see any sign yet that the relevant Scottish Ministers will be honest about their failure ...

... "historic concordat" anyone? :-((

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