Private Eye mocks DfE money-saving ‘toolkit'
Economy measures dismissed as ‘Hinds Slight’
The Department for Education (DfE) has developed a cunning plan for schools to save money. It’s issued a ‘toolkit’ which the recent edition of Private Eye* dubs ‘Hinds Slight’. This refers, no doubt, to the insulting way in which education secretary Damian Hinds patronises school leaders by giving money-saving advice to those who are being kept short of cash.
In an attempt to persuade readers that schools have never had it so good, the School Resource Management Strategy devotes many pages explaining how school spending has increased since 2000. It even names an IFS document in a footnote as ‘evidence’. The DfE obviously hopes no-one will bother to click on the link.
The document cited does indeed show school spending rising since 2000, the date the DfE chose as its baseline. But, as the IFS made clear:
‘This growth came to an end in 2011–12, with average school spending per pupil largely frozen in real terms between 2011–12 and 2015–16.’
It appears the DfE is attempting to take credit for rises in education spending which took place under Labour and using this increase to justify giving advice to schools abut how they can force the last pennies out of a pot which has been depleting since 2011.
As schools struggle, DfE will pay £2.3m on ‘school resource management advisers’
Schools are struggling. They’ve already cut spending to the bone. But the DfE will appoint ‘school resource management advisers’ to show schools how to slice into the bone and scoop out the marrow. Private Eye reveals the DfE will spend £2.3m on what Schools Week has called ‘cost cutting consultants’.
But the time has come when schools can cut no longer without damaging education quality more than it’s already been damaged by ill-thought-out, hastily enacted ‘reforms’ and accountability measures which put excessive emphasis on exam results.
EXTRA: Watch video (scroll down) from Yvonne Burton, SENDCO, saying funding is the worst in 30 years. Her school is not only asking parents to fund raise but is applying for charitable help.
*Number 1478, not available online