The recent stories of schools in southern England being forced to consider four day weeks, have left me dismayed, angry and concerned. For me, it took the shine off the government U-turn regarding forcing all schools to become academies.
So when I learned last week that the money set aside for academy conversions has been clawed back by the treasury, I was just downright angry.
This was money necessary for legal fees for school conversions. We were never talking about sweeteners to help schools pay for staff, stationery or even pupil uniforms. It was £384million which would have been paid to solicitors and law firms. So that’s a third of a billion pounds to make lawyers richer whilst schools can’t afford to put a teacher in front of pupils for five days a week.
This news story appeared at around the same time as an announcement that hip replacement operations should only be carried out once the patient is in so much pain that they can’t sleep. We are paying taxes for services we don’t receive.
A government exists to serve its population. When one of the world’s richest nations claims it can no longer afford to educate its children or cure its sick then we have a problem. We aren’t talking about lack of money. Cash was available to pay the private sector solicitors. Even more cash would be available if people weren’t having to give up work because the arthritis in their hips has become so bad.
This is purely a political decision and we should see through it. Our schools should be resourced; our hospitals should be resourced. End of story.

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