“100 Shades of Gove: 100 failings in Education & Training by this Tory Government” by @DrEoinCl

Funding Cuts

  1. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, in real terms, education has suffered its largest funding cut since the 1950s (evidence) (evidence)
  2. The £2.5 billion Pupil Premium did not come from additional monies as promised but actually came from within the existing education budget (evidence)
  3. Government Funding for Universities was cut by almost half (evidence & evidence)
  4. The funding for school meals was halved in 2010-11 (evidence)
  5. In 2010-11, the funding for Children & Families was cut by £800m (exactly the same amount that was earmarked for academisation) (evidence)
  6. A Public Accounts Committee report concluded that Michael Gove had no grasp of “value for money” when it came to building schools (evidence)
  7. UK Education Spending as a percentage of GDP has now fallen behind the USA (evidence & evidence)
  8. 77% of Primary Schools said their income fell between 2011/12 and 2012/13 (evidenc

Student Support

  1. Gove scrapped EMA despite evidence it increased participation in Education (post 16) (evidence)
  2. Tuition Fees Tripled to £9,000 (evidence)
  3. Youth Unemployment is up by 5% (evidence)
  4. Number of pupils staying on in education (aged 16-18) has fallen for the first time since 2001 (evidence)
  5. In June 2010, Gove axed Labour’s plan to extend Free School Meals to half a million more children a decision justified by Gove in this letter (evidence)
  6. A FoI query by False Economy exposed that the government are considering retrospectively raising the interest rates on old student loans (evidence)

Free Schools

  1. Cost of establishing Free Schools has more than doubled to £6,600,000 (evidence)
  2. Free Schools perform worse than other schools in Ofsted Inspections (evidence & evidence)
  3. There is no automatic right to Trade Union recognition in Free Schools (evidence)
  4. 8% of Free Schools inspected are deemed to be failing (page 9)
  5. Michael Gove spent £1.1 billion on Free Schools at a time when every major Education spending category was cut (evidence & evidence)
  6. The Average Free School has just 471 School Places which is an inefficient use of taxpayers’ money at a time of restraint (evidence)
  7. Free Schools are projected to cost at least £600 million more than was originally planned (page 8)
  8. 13% of Free Schools are opening in a place where there is no need for them (Labour argue the figure is 51%) (evidenceevidence)
  9. There are concerns about the Financial Management at 8% of Free Schools inspected (evidence)
  10. A quarter of Free School places were unfilled (page 10)
  11. Only 27% of voters support Michael Gove’s Free School policy, yet he continues to ignore the wishes of the majority (evidence)
  12. Michael Gove has handed a Free School over to a profit-making Swedish firm to run (evidence)
  13. Free Schools are taking lower numbers of poorer pupils (pupils on Free School Meals). Many argue this is de facto selection (evidence)
  14. A sample of 30 Free Schools opened in September 2013 showed an average number of just 96 pupils per school (evidence)
  15. Michael Gove wasted £440,000 on Free Schools that didn’t even open [wave 1] (evidence)

Academies

  1. Government leaked document admits spending on Forced Academies is an inappropriate use of money & ideologically driven (evidence)
  2. Michael Gove overspent on Academies by £1bn & cut the funding of state school pupils to pay for it says National Audit Office (evidence)
  3. Three Academy Chain networks hand 180+ average pay packets of £88,000 and 7 staff are paid more than the Prime Minister (herehere & here)
  4. The government has admitted that on at least three occasions it has forced schools against their will to convert to academy status (evidence)
  5. Michael Gove’s Department stand accused of bribing schools with payments outside their funding allocation to convert to academy status (evidence & evidence)
  6. The Academy programme cost £8 billion in just two years at the same time 13% cuts to the Education Budget (real terms) were announced (evidence)
  7. Poor planning in the transfer of school places from LEA run schools & academy schools costs the taxpayer £350 million. A slower transition would have saved cash (evidence)
  8. The government wasted £114 million on Consultants to plan and implement their Free School/Academy reforms (evidence & evidence)
  9. Taxpayers foot the bills for the extravagant expenses clocked dup by so-called charities running academy chains (evidence)
  10. Academy Head teachers have been earning income from their own private consultancy firms carrying out work in the schools for which they are head (evidence)
  11. Pupil per spend in Academy Schools is in many cases considerably higher than Council Run Comprehensives (evidence & evidence)

School Closures

  1. 471 Schools (net) have been axed by Michael Gove shows the ONS (evidence & evidence)
  2. Michael Gove admits he scrapped the Building Schools for Future Programme that was set to renovate or build 715 schools (evidence & evidence)
  3. Since the Olympics, Michael Gove has oversaw the sale of 1 school playing field every 2 weeks, and now more than 50 fields have been sold (evidence & evidence)
  4. The privatisation of educational services has begun. In Staffordshire, alone, £2 billion of education services including support for disabled children, was handed to a profit making firm (evidence)
  5. The new school improvements programme is nearly £6 billion short of what is required and is only improving 169 schools  (evidence)

School Places

  1. Number of Children in Class Sizes of more than 30 has doubled in a year and nearly trebled since 2010 (evidence &evidence)
  2. 29% of local authorities are under-funded and are unable to fund as many school places as they need says the National Audit Office (evidence)
  3. UK’s teacher to pupil ratio has risen for 2 years running under the Tories and is now comfortably the worst the EU (evidence)
  4. Michael Gove is failing to deliver the extra 240,000 school places required by 2015 (evidence)
  5. Applicants to UCAS to attend UK Universities decreased for two years running, they are up this year (evidence &evidence)
  6. There are more than 2000 classrooms in England that have more pupils in them than 4 of the Free Schools that opened in September have on their entire roll call (evidence) & evidence)

Childcare

  1. Childcare costs are up 30% under the Tories and grow 5 times faster than wages
  2. There are 581 fewer Sure Start Centres under Michael Gove (evidence & evidence)
  3. The government, by their own admission, deleted evidence of Sure Start closures from their own website (evidence)
  4. Government funding for Sure Start was axed by 20% in 2012-13 (evidence)
  5. Gove’s Department attempted to lower the quality of staffing in nurseries by increasing the child to carer ratio after report showed the idea had failed French children (evidence & evidence)
  6. There are now 2,423 fewer childminders than there were in 2009 (evidence)
  7. Changes to Child Tax Credits amounted to £1bn in raw figures but even more in real terms (evidence)
  8. 92 Sure Start Centres have been privatised (evidence)
  9. There is a 38,000 shortage of Free Nursery Places for 2-year-olds on the government’s flagship scheme (evidence &evidence)

Teaching Staff

  1. Michael Gove imposed a 1% wage freeze on teachers despite allowing the pay of bosses to soar (evidence)
  2. Gove has scrapped requirement for schools to seek a teacher with qualified teaching status before they decide to fill the gap with an unqualified teacher (evidenceevidence)
  3. The government have scrapped Teachers’ Final Salary Pension Schemes are new regulations amount to a real terms cut of 3% on salaries (evidence)
  4. There are 6,063 fewer teachers under Cameron. The total number of teachers has fallen every single year of a Tory government (evidence)
  5. The average salary of a Primary School Teacher has fallen by £400 in 2 years (in raw terms). In real terms the picture is much worse again (evidence)
  6. Gove is introducing performance related pay that could eventually slow teacher’s wages by £10,000 a year (evidence)
  7. Secret Talks are underway between the Treasury and Department of Education to consider phasing out 230,000 teaching assistants in a bid to save £4 billion. (evidence)
  8. In the last academic year, 5,950 trainee teacher places were unfilled as a crisis in teacher recruitment takes hold (evidenceevidence)

Pupil Performance

  1. Michael Gove & his officials were judged to be misusing Education Statistics to ‘talk down’ pupil achievement (evidenceevidence)
  2. 10% decline in pupils achieving A/A* in GCE English since 2010 says Joint Council for Qualifications (evidence)
  3. ONS data released on 15 October 2013 shows that school truancy figures were on the rise (evidence)
  4. 2012 recorded the first fall in Pupil Performances in the history of GCSEs (evidence)
  5. 2013 recorded the largest ever fall in GCSE performance (evidence)
  6. A Level grade results have fallen 2 years running (evidence)
  7. On 7 February 2013, Gove abandoned his E-Bacc Plans and his idea to scrap Exam Boards admitting that they were errors (evidence)
  8. Michael Gove, despite rhetoric, has actually increased testing especially for young children (evidenceevidence)
  9. Gove’s new National Curriculum (here) was rushed and made many mistakes based on ideology not evidence. Introducing complicated mathematics too early in a child’s life is one such example (evidence), and the History Curriculum faced last minute revisions because it excluded prominent figures such as Mary Seacole (evidence &evidence)
  10. Gove removed funding from Connexions Careers Advice Service but then attacked what he called the “Careers Lobby” in front of the Education Select Committee (evidence & evidence)
  11. 4 in 5 schools are failing to provide adequate career’s advice to pupils at KS3 & KS4 (evidence
  12. More than half of schools are duty in their requirement to provide good religious education says Ofsted (evidence)
  13. There has been a 40% drop in the number of students getting literacy tuition under Cameron (evidence)
  14. Tories axed pupils’ right to one to one tuition and buried a report that may have shown the benefits of such tuition (evidence)

Apprenticeships

  1. The number of apprenticeships lasting 6 months or less grew to 19% in 2011 (evidence)
  2. The percentage of apprentices achieving level 1, 2 or 3 passes all fell in the year 2011/12 (evidence & evidence)
  3. The number of under-19 year olds starting apprenticeships has fallen 2 years running (page 8) and are down 12% (evidence)

Child Poverty

  1. Child Benefit was scrapped for middle class households (evidence)
  2. Benefits were frozen to 1% for 3 years putting 200,000 more children into child poverty (evidence)
  3. Child Poverty is up 300,000 under Michael Gove (evidence)
  4. As 1 in 7 children go to school hungry, Michael Gove responded by saying Food Bank users only have themselves to blame (evidence & evidence)

Child Obesity

  1. Michael Gove Constituency Association accepted funding from Fast Food Businessmen (evidence)
  2. 1 year before the Olympics, Michael Gove scrapped the £160m Schools Sports Partnership (evidence)
  3. Hospital Admission for children where the primary or secondary diagnosis is obesity is up 16% since 2010 (Table 7.5evidence)
  4. Free Swimming for under 16s was scrapped in a £40m cost savings exercise (evidence)

Transparency

  1. Michael Gove’s Department lost a Freedom of Information complaint and were ordered by the Information Commissioner to release emails sent from personal accounts discussing DFE business (evidence & evidence)
  2. Michael Gove’s Department was placed under Special Monitoring for its refusal to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (evidence)
  3. A Tory Donor was enobled and appointed Education Minister (evidence)

Education Ethos

  1. Gove’s drive to inject a military ethos into schools is a policy founded on rhetoric and machismo and ignores the nuance of pedagogy (evidence & evidence)
  2. As students sat GCSE exams in June 2012, Michael Gove took to a Conference Stage to devalue their efforts by pronouncing that exams had been “dumbed down” (evidence)
  3. Michael Gove had a “Gove [King James] Bible” sent to every school in England and in doing so alienated Christians of different faiths such as Catholics  as well as non-Christians evidence)
  4. Michael Gove’s Department has faced allegations of bullying that have not satisfactorily resolved themselves (evidence)

 

“Why the future of Britains young people depend on Labour” by ChriswMP

INTERNATIONAL Youth Day came and went last week without too much media attention. And yet unemployment, low pay, zero hour contracts and access to housing have hit young people particularly hard and this Government’s cuts programme is making matters far worse.

However, in contrast to the media’s failure to acknowledge International Youth Day, the public service union, UNISON, published a new report on cuts in youth services, as part of its ‘Damage’ series.

The UK’s youth services: how cuts are removing opportunities for young people and damaging their lives, is now available online at http://www.unison.org.uk/catalogue/22532

The report is based on two pieces of research: a Freedom of Information request sent to every council in the UK, to find out the extent of the cuts in youth services since 2012, and a survey of UNISON members, asking questions about the impact of the cuts on young people and the communities they live in.

The key findings discovered that:

• More than 2000 youth service jobs have been lost since 2012
• 350 youth centres have closed as a result of the cuts
• 41,000 youth service places for young people have been cut
• At least 35,000 hours of outreach work by youth workers have been removed
• Youth service spending has been cut by £60 million since 2012, and since 2010 the figure is £259m

The report makes clear that cuts to youth services lead to increased poverty, crime, higher youth unemployment and an increase in teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. These factors will have major knock-on effects on communities, the criminal justice system, the health service and the economy.

But rather than investing in our young people, this Government is hidebound by its neoliberal ideology, which is causing untold damage to Britain’s future generations. It makes the removal of the Tories and Liberal Democrats at the next election absolutely imperative.

But we also need to make sure that we in the Labour Party offer a genuinely progressive alternative. Implementing a radical programme in Government to create a new social democratic consensus similar to what we achieved in 1945 is essential.

The future wellbeing of Britain depends on us being brave and bold, taking on and defeating the corporate interests who have used globalisation to impoverish millions and enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. Failure is not an option for us!

“Why the average family will be £2,037 worse off by the next General Election” by @ChriswMP

WHEN I heard the news yesterday I wasn’t sure if I was listening to an updated adaptation of George Orwell’s ‘1984’ for one of Radio 4’s ‘Book of the Week’ series.

I thought it must be Rory Bremner or Alistair McGowan doing a particularly good impression of the Prime Minister’s voice making a newspeak announcement.

He said: “Every single domestic policy that the Government comes up with will be examined for its impact on the family…For me, nothing matters more than family. It’s at the centre of my life and the heart of my politics”.

I was astonished when I realised that it really was the Prime Minister and not a fictional spokesman from the Ministry of Truth.

I’m sure people won’t be hoodwinked by this faux concern when the average working family will be £2,073 a year worse off by the next General Election thanks to this Government’s tax and benefit changes.

Alarming new data shows that, in total, David Cameron’s government has taken £15bn in support away from children and families.

These figures are no surprise when you consider the policy prospectus Mr Cameron has put in place since his Tories joined forces with the Lib Dems to form a government in 2010.

There was the bedroom tax, which affected some 220,000 households across the country, impacting directly on as many as 375,000 children.

Cuts to maternity pay, tax credits and support for new families show that the average family with a new born baby is £2,000 worse off, according to the House of Commons Library.

Then there were the cuts to claimable childcare costs through the working tax credit, meaning some families lost £1,500 per year.

All this, at a time when childcare costs have risen five times faster than wages, and when there are 628 fewer Sure Start Children’s Centres offering some 35,000 fewer places.

Add into the mix the fact that the average family has seen their energy bill rise by more than £300 since the last General Election, and it’s easy to see why many have faced a tough few years.

In fact the £2,000-plus that the average family finds itself short-changed by, is likely to be just part of the story. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that any family which falls into two or more of the categories detailed above will find itself significantly worse off.

That is what’s so totally unfair about this Government’s counterproductive austerity programme. Millions have had their standard of living diminished by a Cabinet stuffed full of millionaires who have enhanced their own privileged circumstances through the policies this Government has pursued.

The only sense in which this Government has put families first is by placing them right at the front of the queue for cuts, somewhere up there with the NHS and other public services.

It is only when a Labour Government returns to power that those families who the Prime Minister feigns to care about so deeply, will feel any sense of respite; and it is a day which can’t come quickly enough.

The Tory-led Government are laying the framework for the whole scale marketisation of the NHS slams @grahamemorris

The NHS is firmly on the Road to Privatisation.

The promise to protect the NHS and to halt any top down reorganisation lasted up until the point David Cameron became Prime Minister. Without any mandate David Cameron undertook the largest top down reorganisation since the foundation of the NHS, laying the framework for the whole scale marketisation of our health service.

A group of mums from Darlington concerned about the attacks on the NHS have decided to fight back, and wanting their voice to be heard are marching to Parliament following the famous path of the Jarrow Crusaders, who nearly 80 years previous marched against poverty and unemployment.

I was in Jarrow on Saturday to walk the first stage of the protest that will conclude on the 6th September in London after marching 300 miles and collecting information and evidence of the NHS break up from the 23 towns and cities they will visit on the way to Parliament.

They recognise that the NHS is currently in the process of being sold off piece by piece. The NHS Support Federation found that between April and December 2013 private firms won 70% of contracts for NHS services in England, covering everything from mental health services, out of hours services, and diagnostic services.

There are also plans in Staffordshire to privatise cancer care in what could be the biggest outsourcing deal in the NHS history, in a contract worth £1.2bn.

Prioritising private profits over patient care has hit frontline services. Access to GP services is becoming increasingly difficult, and deadly delays in ambulance response is risking lives. We have seen a near continuous A&E crisis, as patients with no alternatives present themselves at accident and emergency departments.

NHS England’s figures show that the number of people waiting more than 4 hours in A&Es has increased from a third of a million in 2009/2010 to almost a million after the Tories’ reorganisation.

However, despite these pressures frontline services have not been saved from cuts. One in ten A&E units have been closed or downgraded, including Hartlepool that serves part of the Easington constituency. Half of the 600 ambulance stations are earmarked for closure and one-third of NHS walk in centres have been closed.

East Durham has not been spared with GP services and walk in services under threat such as Healthworks in Easington, as well as those in Peterlee and Seaham, making it more likely patients will seek treatment from already over-stretched A&E units. In view of the high levels of deprivation and chronic local health problems we need more easily accessible healthcare services, not fewer.

The lines of responsibility and accountability have been blurred with the public unable to identify where decisions about local services are being made or how they can stop damaging cuts. The whole system is littered with conflicts of interest with GPs commissioning services from themselves with little accountability and elected representatives like myself denied access to meetings where commissioning decisions are discussed.

The present Government have created a system which has failed everyone except those seeking to profit from the NHS. There will be one final opportunity before the election to reverse these changes through a Private Members Bill I am co-sponsoring with Labour MP Clive Efford to repeal the damaging competition rules.

I will be delighted to welcome the NHS Jarrow march into Parliament, as we try to convince Conservative and Lib Dem MPs to end the chaos they have created in our health service by repealing the Health and Social Care Act.

“8 ways George Osborne’s Department have wasted £14,570,000,000.00 of taxpayers’ money” by @DrEoinCl

Above is a list of 8 ways George Osborne’s Department have wasted £14,570,000,000.00 of taxpayers’ money. If you click on the writing in blue it take you through to evidence that substantiates the claim made herein. If you can think of other ways Osborne has wasted taxpayers’ cash feel free to email me on TheGreenBenches@Hotmail.Com

National Debt is up £430bn & George Osborne is borrowing £235bn more than he said he would (evidence & evidence)
  1. George Osborne has allowed the costs of HS2 to spiral by £7bn+ (evidence & evidence)
  2. The Regional Growth Fund wasted £160 million protecting jobs at an average cost to the taxpayer of £106,000 per job (Page 8)
  3. £1.2bn spent on Local Enterprise Partnerships that were supposed to create 54,000 jobs but in truth will be lucky to create 1/3 of that  says NAO (evidence)
  4. George Osborne sold Northern Rock for a £480 million loss (evidence)
  5. George Osborne sold Lloyds Share for a £230 million loss (evidence)
  6. George Osborne sold Royal Mail for at least 50% less than it was worth (evidence & evidence)
  7. 4G was auctioned off for £1.2bn less than George Osborne forecast (evidence)
  8. The Tax Gap has grown by £4,000,000,000 under the Tories while HMRC staff were cut by 16% and the HMRC budget was cut by 25% Tax Gap (Tax Evasion/Avoidance etc)  up 13% since April 2010 (evidence & evidence)