Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Failing Schools... Again

The Public Accounts Committee has now published its report on failing schools. As they remind us, despite a decade of Education, Education and Education, a million of Britain's children are still attending sub-standard schools. In the words of the original NAO report:

"As at July 2005, there were 1,557 poorly performing schools in England, which represented around 4 per cent of primary schools and 23 per cent of secondary schools. These 1,557 schools educate around 980,000 pupils, or 13 per cent of the school population."

We've blogged this many times, and back in February we estimated the total cost of the shambles:
  • £3.25bn pa spent on the failing schools themselves
  • £837m (2004-05) on Special Measures aimed at sorting them out
  • £160m (2004-05) on replacing the worst with flashy new Academies
  • £4.5bn pa on post-school remedial education

So we got to a total identifiable taxpayer cost of £8.75bn. Annually.

But of course, the true cost is much higher. With 13 per cent of our kids denied a proper education, the economic damage to Britain is massive and long-lasting.

Now, repeat after me... education is much too important to leave to politicians.

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