Wednesday, June 27, 2007

If we double the spending on schools will our children learn more?

It appears to be the governments plan to raise spending on education to the same level as the independent sector.

I scratch my head when people talk like this. For a start, which part of the independent sector? Eaton? The average? Who knows what the target actually means.

The next problem is this, is this not the most facile target you have ever seen?

If I go out to buy a weeks shopping and spend £100, would my children be better fed if I spend £200?

The answer is, it depends. You can buy a given product at all sorts of prices. If I buy a box of corn flakes for £2 are they better than the one I brought for £1 last week.

This issue is really important because throwing money at a problem, and then being proud of it, is not the answer. Holland and Sweeden (along with most of the rest of the developed world) spend less than us on secondary education, but neither country has sink schools. Why? Because schools are easy to set up, and sink schools don't get parents sending their children there so improve or close.

5 comments:

Timothy said...

Wait a second.... I thought Sweden's education system is so much better than ours because class sizes are a lot smaller, normally about 15 instead of about 30. Class sizes are also normally smaller in private schools in Britain, than in state schools.

I don't understand how such a thing would be possible without employing more teachers, which will inevitably cost more per child.

occasional ranter said...

If we double the spending on schools, perhaps the next generation of Conservative bloggers will be able to spell and punctuate accurately ?

Benedict White said...

Timothy we spend just over £5,000 per child in all schools rising to over £9,000 in some deprived areas.

For a class of 30, that is £150,000 per year, or in a deprived area £270,000

For a class of 15 that would be between £75,000 to £135,000.

I think the latter is enough to teach a class, don't you?

occasional ranter, many thanks for your kind words, I am practicing for a job at the Grauniad ;)

julie said...

benedict, regarding your mathematical calculations what have you done with the other 15 children? Do they not receive any education?
Smaller classes would be fantastic, but it means more schools, classrooms and teachers.
Doubt if any Government would pay for it. They wouldn't have enough money for building more prisons.

Benedict White said...

Julie, the £5,000 per year covers the cost of teaching staff and to some extent the class rooms.