Friday, 16 March 2018

Permanent Deficit

After reports that the number of state secondary schools spending more than their income in England has almost tripled in the last four years, to more than a quarter (26.1%), you have to start wondering... what is really going on?

It might be malice, it might be apathy, it might be incompetence - whatever it is, it's bad news for schools, and worse news for students. It really is quite obvious that not having enough money is a bad thing. But this is the new normal. Save Our Schools, Save Our Schools, the constant chorus on a muted TV screen... occupants of the house elsewhere...

Maybe we just have to get used to it. Maybe its all that's on offer. But it doesn't really end there - in a world where it was as proof-positive that nothing is possible and things only ever get worse, we could at least put on a brave face, pretend that we are used to it, like a cold chill. Nope - you're not even allowed the pleasure of being unhappy. Always Positivity, Always Improvement, Always a Growth Mindset. The School/Company/Country needs it!

If you're a student, you can spend five years watching Management piss away cash in pointless ventures that only serve the figures or their egos. That is  — Rights Respecting, Bins, Banners, Adverts. But nobody wins anything when the school puts up another award. If it wasn't obvious enough: their interests are not our interests. Even though there are budget cuts that Management cannot really prevent, there is no one else to blame for their often irresponsible and unnecessary spending.

If you're a student who needs support with disabilities or English as a 2nd language, then you can just get lost. See when a school has to make cuts, support staff are often the first to go. I really hope I don't have to explain why that is worrying. We are not all affected by the budget cuts in the same way. We are not in this together. Not only worrying though I suppose - it's just what happens.

This is just what happens. A permanent deficit, sustained precarity, we're always on the edge of complete and total failure. Just thank our lucky stars we don't live in one of the poor countries. Just do what is expected.

DISCLAIMER: This is a critical article, and so is comprised of the opinions of the author.

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