Spending Review

Apologies. It looks like the post I did for 2 Jan was not published properly – don’t know why. Never mind I think I have now pressed the right buttons.

The spending on the Department for Education is scheduled to increase from £53.6 billion this year to £57.1 billion by the end of the Parliament. The settlement includes the cost of doubling free childcare from 15 hours per week to 30 hours per week for working families of 3 and 4 year olds from September next year. Spending at least £4.4 billion a year on capital expenditure will result in 600,000 additional school places.

Savings will be made in various way for example an upper income limit of £100,000 per parent will be applied to the additional 15 hours of free childcare and a minimum weekly income level equivalent to 16 hours will be required. Schools will be helped to save on procurement by exploiting economies of scale.

There will also be a re-structuring of post-16 education and training. Sixth Form colleges will be given the opportunity to become academies, allowing them to recover their non-business VAT costs.

Education Bill

The main business in the House of Commons today is the Second Reading of the Education Bill.

Amongst other things the lengthy Bill contains proposals to improve school discipline by giving teachers powers to search for items which disrupt learning and make it easier for Head teachers to expel violent pupils. The Bill will offer protection for teachers who are faced with untrue allegations made by pupils. In future teachers would remain anonymous until ( and unless ) they are charged.

The Bill will also abolish a few more Quangos the GCTE , the QCDA, the SSSNB and the TDAS. ( In other words the General Teaching Council for England, the Qualification and Curriculum Development Agency the School Support Staff Negotiating Body and the Training and Development Agency for Schools. It will also simplify Ofsted inspections by ensuring Ofsted inspectors focus routine Ofsted inspections on four key areas rather than the present 27 headings.