COUNTY school campaigners have hit out after the UK Statistics Authority delivered a stinging rebuke to Government’s claims more money than ever is going into education in the UK.
The Worth Less? campaign, led locally by Droitwich Spa High School headteacher Natalie Waters, spoke out after Sir David Norgrove revealed his reprimand to the Department of Education in a letter on Monday (October 8).
Sir David slammed education bosses following a tweet on September 28 which claimed “There is more money going into our #schools than ever before and we’re helping schools to manage and make the most of their budgets.”
In a damning indictment, Sir David said the figures were presented in such a way as to ‘misrepresent changes in school funding’.
“In the tweet, school spending figures were exaggerated by using a truncated axis, and by not adjusting for per pupil spend,” he said.
“In the blog about government funding of schools (which I note your Department has now updated), an international comparison of spend which included a wide range of education expenditure unrelated to publicly funded schools was used, rather than a comparison of school spending alone.
“The result was to give a more favourable picture.
Yet the context would clearly lead readers to expect the figures referred to spending on schools.”
In a statement Worth Less? which is calling for a fairer funding deal for schools across the UK, says they have been telling the truth about school budgets for three years and said the Department for Education was in denial.
“Parents and the wider public have a right to know the facts and the Government cannot have it both ways – you cannot slash our budgets and then pretend all’s well,” the statement read.
“The constant use of misinformation is placing an intolerable strain on headteachers’
relationships with the DfE.
Trust is being eroded. Were heads to repeatedly act in a similar way with parents and or Ofsted the consequences would be serious indeed.”
A DfE spokeswoman said: “The most recent volume of the OECD’s Education at a Glance report said in 2015 among G7 nations, the UK Government spent the highest percentage of GDP on institutions delivering primary and secondary education.
“This is one of several statistics in the OECD report that demonstrate the UK is among the highest spenders on education at primary and secondary level.”
Last month Adrian Ward, headteacher at Trinity High School in Redditch said: “Schools in Birmingham receive over £800 more per pupil than schools just down the road like here in Redditch, with rising costs outstripping the amount coming into schools. we are now at crisis point.”