The Curmudgeon


Monday, October 08, 2018

They've Let Big School Down All Over Again

As might be expected from the people who thought the education of Britain's non-fee-paying children was best left to a few religious freaks and Toby Young, the Department for Education's statistical pronouncements have taken a somewhat mythographic turn. The national statistics watchdog, which is doubtless on the shortlist for privatisation and efficiency savings if not outright abolition, has reprimanded the Minister for Small Prole Control, Damian Hinds, complaining that it has written to the DfE on four separate occasions this year about the misuse of data, only for the Minister to continue failing to hand in his homework. Hinds' colleague Nick Gibb, the Minister for Targets and Teacher-Bashing, proclaimed last week that school spending in the UK was the third highest in the world: a figure he arrived at by including private school fees and university student loans. It is of course jolly encouraging that cutting expenditure on education is no longer seen as a self-evidently wonderful thing, on a par with eternal economic growth and letting brown people drown; but if the minister delivering the message cannot tell a nought from a nine, as happened when Gibb claimed that England had moved from nineteenth place to eighth in an international table of reading abilities among persons with a slightly higher mental age than Nick Gibb - well, then unfortunately the message is apt to become a little fogged.


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