Sunday, 3 April 2011

Challenge the lies

On the 1st April 2011, the Wrexham Leader (a free broadsheet) published the following letter:

Mr Evans is a well known letter writer, a leading No campaigner and an anti devolutionist.

This is my response to Mr Evans's letter:
Dear Editor,

Having lost the referendum argument Robert Evans now reverts to Welsh Government AND Local Authority bashing, “Schools sinking under local bureaucracy” (Wrexham Leader, April 1st). As with the referendum Mr Evans’s arguments are equally flawed (must be something to do with the date).

Whilst Mr Evans is right, pupil funding in Wales is less than in England but the difference is not £600, Wrecsam spent £5,408 per pupil in 2009/10, whilst Cheshire spent £5,643 and Shropshire spent £5,580 per pupil. The reason for the difference is that Welsh Local Education Authorities retain about 15% of the schools budget to provide additional support to schools like School Improvement Officers, Educational Social Workers and Educational Psychologists. Schools in England have to buy these services in from their devolved budgets.

Mr Evans is wrong to think that more money will improve education and this is exemplified by the fact that Vale of Glamorgan has the lowest spend per pupil but the best results whilst Blaenau Gwent with the highest spend per pupil has some of the worst results which indicates that achievement in school has more to do with deprivation and child poverty than actual spend. A package of measures is needed to improve educational attainment in Wales with the priority being on a holistic approach towards the child and not a narrow focus on just pupil funding.

The way things are going in England education is well on its way to being privatised which will lead to massive inequality of opportunity. We seek to ensure that taxpayers money is used to educate and not to profit private enterprises in the running of our schools.


We should all endeavour to challenge inaccuracies in the press on each and every opportunity.


TaffiaDon said...

There is a DCSF report (no. DCSF-00924-2008BKT-EN(link below))

That states that the main determining factor to a childs educational success is not the quality of the school but rather the attitude of the parent. When I did my teacher training, teaching standards at 'bad' schools were often better than those at 'good' school. The main difference was that the parents of 'good' school were willing/able to push their kids to succeed in schools. While parents in 'bad' schools gave no encouragement to their children.

Money is not the problem. Rather the lack of a strong education culture in the wider country is a greater hinderance. One way to solve this is to give greater encouragement/ability for teachers and schools to hold back pupils that fail to make standards or whose attendance is too low. We should have an education system based on competence not age.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Quite agree, we in Wrecsam have a number of initiatives involving parents. We have Parental Support Advisors/ Team Around the Child/Families First and Integrated Families Support, hopefully and with good teaching this will help. I'm a firm believer that if a child comes from a home where he/she is in need or there are child protection or child poverty then they will not learn irrespective of how good the school or teaching is,

Anonymous said...

"The way things are going in England education is well on its way to being privatised"

What utter tripe. Free schools are needed in Wales but they are not privatisation. If only state education would copy private education we would see some real advances.