Ed Balls challenges Michael Gove on yesterday's Newsnight to reveal how he will pay for his "free schools" & pupil premium; Gove responds with boorish insults.
Michael Gove has again failed to clarify how he will pay for the pupil premium or for the much hyped “free schools” – the centrepiece of Tory education policy. When questioned on last night’s Newsnight, to “explain very briefly in one sentence” what it is and where the money would come from, he answered:
“Well we want to make sure that some of the money which isn’t spent on schools at the moment in that 25 per cent that Ed [Balls] says isn’t ring fenced is spent on schools in order to try and help the very poorest. Well we’re at the moment looking at all those areas that Ed has identified as not central and not core to schools funding in order to try to make sure that they get school funding. Let me mention just one…”
Gove, however, failed to do so, prompting the schools secretary to explain the Tory funding gap:
“There is £5 billion and the pupil premium is £2.5 billion. You would have to cut 50% of all of that budget simply to pay for the pupil premium before he pays for its free schools. At least David Laws [Lib Dem education spokesman] has got the integrity to say he will pay for his pupil premium by abolishing child trust funds and tax credits. Michael can’t answer these questions because the reality is theer will be cuts to schools, cuts to teachers numbers, and large class sizes. He should face up to that reality.”
Gove’s prohibition on teaching for graduates with third class degrees or lower also came in for criticism, from teachers, former teachers and heads, with his decision to appoint Carol Vorderman as the Tories’ maths adviser coming in for the severest attack.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.