Author Topic: School places  (Read 4186 times)

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School places
« on: July 15, 2009, 06:06:49 am »
Councils say the recession is adding to demand for places. A fifth of English local authorities are reporting increased pressure on school places due to the recession, the Local Government Association says.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8150563.stm
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LongTallSally

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Re: School places
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009, 08:36:05 am »
I remember reading recently about the tax payer funding a surplus of 800,00+ school places.  If all these places have been filled and now we need more that's an impressive increase in the birth rate! Presumably if it was as simple as reallocation of taxpayer funds from education authority A to education authority B that has been tried and failed.

So are we seeing more parents trying to get their children into certain schools? While other schools are unable to fill allocated places?

When I was of school age, you went to the local school and that was that. There was no choice for my parents apart from between two secondary schools within walking distance because one involved crossing a main road. The schools also received funds for the children they had at the time and the numbers varied from year to year. There was no pressure on schools to fill all their places one year from outside the catchment or face a budget cut the following year.

Then along came parental choice...of a sort. If market forces are being used in education, so parents are able to choose a school for their children, then the policy must be brave enough to allow successful schools to expand and failing schools to close. In the same way, if everyone wants to get their apples from one particular supermarket, the supermarket will buy more to meet demand. It won't want you to go to another supermarket, where the apples are less tasty; or expect you to because it limits it's stock.

In fact, what happens now is because the policy doesn't take the politically sensitive decision to close failing schools, the policy fails parents because they believe they have a choice when in fact they don't. The majority of parents want to send their children to local schools and yet still many don't get any of their choices.

And in all this mess, the poor beleaguered taxpayer gets a raw deal; despite already funding nearly a million surplus places, the councils want more money.
 

 

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Re: School places
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 08:51:39 am »
Hi LTS, my understanding is that it is partly due to some parents not being able to afford private education and turning back to state provision.

David
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LongTallSally

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Re: School places
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 09:35:51 am »
In fact, the number of children in private education is increasing.

 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: School places
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 10:56:39 am »
When it was proposed to close Sunnybank school in Potters Bar only 2/3 years ago, someone very knowldegeable about schools told me that the projections were of a drop in new pupils until about 2010 when there would be an increase again.  This was known to education departments then, so why the problem now?  Because they closed some schools like Sunnybank.  Simple.  They were saving money short term and now they are coming up with all sorts of excuses like immigration (do immigrant children grow faster that native children?) and closure of private schools. 

On that latter point, the Charity Commission is hammering private schools for not being charitable enough.  Their proposals of more bursaries will increase the fees charged to fee paying parents making the schools less affordable so more children are taken out etc. etc.

Maybe we should just let the EU take over running everything in this country.  Our present Government seems to mess up everything it touches, even though they claim it is always the 'right thing to do', and the Tories refuse to bring back grammar schools, amongst other things.  I declare my interest in having gone to one.

Can Brussels be any worse - but that is a different subject.   >:D

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