Take away Nick Clegg’s fig leaf and there’s nothing there…

15 10 2010

 

I have a cunning plan

 

Nick Clegg has been on Radio 4 this morning armed with the only fig leaf he has left- £7 billion spread over 4 years to help the life chance of Britain’s poorest children. He’s touting it in his usually ballsy manner

Don’t be fooled. Cast your mind back to May 2010. One of the first acts of this coalition government was to cut £6.2 bn from programmes already succeeding in improving pupil’s life chances.

I can’t be any more elloquent or effective than Polly Toynbee in her unrelenting exposition of that first round of cuts:

“With weasel words Osborne claimed the schools budget was ring-fenced. But it emerged the best schemes to rescue those falling behind have been axed: no more one-to-one tuition for reading failure; no Every Child a Reader, or Every Child Counts, which took six-year-olds falling behind out of class for intensive help. KPMG proved the effects lasted right through the children’s education. Expect literacy and numeracy rates to fall at 11. The money for school music, sport, after-school activities, homework and breakfast clubs; the activities to see that poorer children had some chances to match better-off families: all are lost too. This is heart-wrenching for anyone who has observed these schemes make the difference, helping children at risk – who might have been lost at school before their education had scarcely begun – to find their feet with special help.”

Read the full article here

Please also remember that it was the Lib Dems who pushed the Tories to axe the whole Child Trust Fund Scheme. (Before the election the Tories were only pledging to reduce it.)

The Orange Bookers in the Lib Dems have arguably done more than the Tories to ruin Britain’s efforts to bring “fairness” and equality in the life chances of our children.

So I’m afraid in whipping away Nick Clegg’s fig leaf we find there is nothing there.

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