Monday, 8 December 2008


I see Edinburgh Councillor Andrew Burns has been quibbling with his fellows about reductions in devolved schools' budgets:
"Given the level of concern that is being expressed across the city, I'll repeat here our own Group's position on the issue:

... in February 2008, when the Council set its 2008/09 budget, the Labour Group opposed the then 1.5% cut in devolved school budgets and moved an alternative (and competently funded) position of zero reduction. That position was unfortunately defeated in the subsequent debate, and vote, when the Lib-Dem/SNP Administration pressed ahead with a 1.5% cut. Next February (2009), when the Council sets its 2009/10 budget, it will again be our absolute intention to oppose any reduction whatsoever in devolved school budgets - and we will certainly oppose any suggestion of a 2% cut.

Its also worth mentioning that in the last 8-years of our Administration (from 1999-2007) we protected school-based budgets from any reductions in all but 1 of those years. It can be done."
Uh-huh, woopy. Is it 1 to 2% cuts in education budgets that are causing our incredibly shoddy state-school system, but in which, miraculously, we seem to have more A students than ever? State interference is the source of our educational woes, from grade gerrymandering, to the fund-sucking LEAs, which it is estimated take about a third of the education budget from the frontline.

You want real devolved schools, real devolved budgets? How about we let the schools finance themselves? As per Sweden, we should adopt a voucher-based system, where schools can set their own curricula and entry criteria, in which schools can be set up anywhere, and in which parents can take thie voucher, comprising of their child's education costs, and give parents the choice in where to send their child.

Give schools back their independence, and let teachers do their damn jobs.

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