I it was a brutal rebuke. When Sir Kevan Collins, Head of Schools Recovery in England, left Boris Johnson's office last week, his bid for a three-year £ 15 billion 'catch-up' education program had been made. reduced to £ 1.4 billion. The government's watered down packagets 'pupil at around £ 50 per year per pupil, compared to the £ 1,600 from the United States and £ 2,500 from the Netherlands . Meanwhile, Johnson spends billions each year just to build a faster train to Birmingham. For a man who prides himself on wasting public money, it's hard to think of a more obscene sense of priorities.
The battle between Collins and the Treasury would have been fierce. Collins claimed £ 15bn was essential to make up for two lost years of schooling. He wanted schools to add an average of half an hour a day and 100 hours a year to sixth grade education, with more tutoring. At the Treasury, Rishi Sunak , struggling to regain control of Johnson's reckless spending, wasn't convinced it was money well spent. The government's rampant privatization of school trusts would mean huge sums going to bodies beyond Whitehall's control, including training centers and tutoring colleges. In Sunak's mind, there must be a limit - and that limit has been reached.
Sunak 's argument might have some value if the victim of his renewed discipline was not desperate schools, and if he had not passed last year tossing public money at companies on leave, conservative donors and dubious procurement companies. Collins' bid was made up with the state's extravagance on private business, public transportation, housing benefits and the "level."ment from above ”. In addition, Johnson had promised that upgrading to school was "my highest priority ... the future of our nation depends on us to pay this generation back." When Johnson declares a priority, we should all go to the pawnshop.
Collins 'only flaw was his emphasis on allowing students to "catch up" to an existing plan, rather than bother of the most desperate cases of hardship. The confinement clearly affected the children in very different ways. Many will not have suffered seriously from being denied the classroom experience and have been conscientiously taught at home and online. Indeed, one of the most common complaints was not the lack of education but the lack of socialization.
That, to his turn, revealed the fate of those for whom the schools have closed has been a disaster. The budgets of sChildhood services have been shredded; the most disastrous statistic i know of is that over the last decade urban youth clubs in L 'England and Wales lost £ 1 billion in funding, a reduction of 70% in real%, due to austerity. These are costs that will affect young people and society much harder than a marginal decline in Britain's performance in some world rankings in mathematics.
When the lockdown began and schools began to draw near, I saw a vision of children briefly released from slavery. The classes did not meet. The exams were not established, passed or failed. The "worst" schools have not been humiliated. Lhe children roamed the streets and the countryside, taking risks, earning pocket money, bonding (or not) with family and social networks, fending for themselves. My fantasy was that 20 years later the British noticed a curious fact. A confident, talented and free-thinker thirty-something cohort was who firmly dominated all walks of life. They were the Teenage Class of 2020-21. They had escaped the GCSE / A-level rat race and had spent two years simply maturing, learning the pains and pleasures of life on their own.
A fantasy, I know, but the sadness of the Collins plan is that it failed to take the opportunity to come up with a revision, even a radical experiment, of British education. The obsession with the traditional "academy" remains, this school is all about learning by heart, memorizing and passing exams. Education for life, for ejob, self-reliance, relationships, health, money, and citizenship were all someone else's job - be it parents, partners, priests, or possibly the police. A turn in that direction would have been truly worth £ 15 billion, a national exercise in alternative education.
During the lockdown, a massive voluntary effort was deployed to protect the health of each community and relieve loneliness and old age. It was Britain at its best. But few, to my knowledge, have dedicated themselves to helping young people. There was outdoor cooking and outdoor concerts, but no outdoor lessons or instruction. School today is an introverted quest. He answers to a jury and a minister, but not to a community. This is the missed opportunity for containment.