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Cuts resurrected for Edinburgh schools

Saii | 26.01.2008 15:52 | Education | Social Struggles

The latest drive to improve education by New Labour got off to a bad start after Edinburgh city council set up a cross-party group to decide which schools get closed in 2008.

The renewed threat of closures resurrects a plan which local people had believed to be over when a community campaign overturned the proposed closure of 22 schools and four community centres in the city last year.

Edinburgh’s cuts are caused by a council budget deficit of over £10m, which critics say has been caused by mismanagement and overspends, which the council is attempting to rectify by slashing public spending on important services.

The failures of Edinburgh council highlight deep-rooted problems in New Labour’s promise to revitalise education, which saw the party embarrassed in December when the UK was shown to have one of the least well-educated populations in the developed world, with reading skills in particular freefalling from 3rd to 18th between 1997 and 2007.

Despite increasing headline funding for education since 1997, the government gives the calculated money per head of the population directly to local councils. With funding cuts and inefficiencies elsewhere in local budgets, education has repeatedly been raided to make up for shortfalls.
The government is planning to implement ‘ringfencing’ to force councils to spend education budgets on education, however even if this measure succeeds, it is likely to prompt large cuts elsewhere in council-run services.

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Display the following 2 comments

  1. No longer a New Labour council — CH
  2. Funding — RR


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