We are again reminded that the simple premise of throwing money at public service problems doesn't work. We've already seen with the NHS that despite record amounts of cash pouring into the service, we still got the scandal of Mid-Staffs and similar failings in care across the land.
Today what was true for health is shown to be true for education:
Young adults in England have scored among the lowest results in the industrialised world in international literacy and numeracy tests. A major study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows how England's 16 to 24-year-olds are falling behind their Asian and European counterparts. England is 22nd for literacy and 21st for numeracy out of 24 countries.
And that spending:
this point makes the scale of our education system's inadequacy still clearer:
England was the only country in the developed world in which adults aged 55-to-65 performed better in literacy and numeracy than those aged 16-to-24 after taking account of other factors such as the economic background of those taking the test.
What is most striking about these reports is that there are no comments from the teachers unions, from the leaders of local education authorities or from the succession of Labour ministers that presided over this failure. The same bunch of self-serving people who rail against any attempt to reform the system by adding rigour, competition and choice.
When we search about for a comment from a teacher trade union we find one that shifts the blame and fails even to accept that maybe a little bit of the problem rests with teaching and leadership in schools. But the NASUWT's solution to the literacy and numeracy problem is truly a joke:
We need to radically revamp the current arrangements for work placements and careers guidance, ensure employers invest in high-quality learning opportunities for young people and take steps to ensure that all young people can afford to continue their learning beyond 16.
Bradford’s primary schools have recorded the third worst results in England in tests sat by ten and 11-year-olds earlier this year, new figures show.
A shocking one in three (32 per cent) of children are failing to achieve the standards expected of them in the Three Rs by the end of their primary education.
And this is Cllr "I-so-want-to-be-an-MP" Berry's response to this awful picture:
“After making recent progress at Key Stage Two in Bradford primary schools, there are disappointing elements to this year’s provisional results.”
How complacent do you want? "Disappointing elements"! The situation is in a mess and Cllr Berry's solution is more meetings, another partnership:
...the local authority would work with a schools body called the Primary Improvement Partnership to review the results and agree on the next steps.
Sense the urgency. Look at the concerns. Heads will roll? What a complete joke.