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Sector news, 12 - 16 September 2011

Targeted cuts make every child a loser, Monday, 12 September 2011

In this article, Warwick Mansell looks at how spending cuts are starting to have an impact in schools. He highlights different projects which have been cut, including a highly-praised project aiming to help children who are struggling with their reading, Every Child a Reader, which is expected to take place in hundreds fewer schools this year. Ringfenced funding has been removed from specific education initiatives and given to headteachers to decide how to use at times when overall budgets are not rising. Local authority funding is also being reduced by 28 per cent over four years, with youth services an area of cuts. Careers services in schools are being cut, and the school sports partnerships scheme has been greatly reduced. Creative Partnerships, which had been linking 2,500 schools with creative professionals, was wound up in July after its funding was scrapped. Paul Collard, chief executive of the charity Creativity, Culture and Education, said the cuts are more evidence that young people are bearing a disproportionate impact of the government’s bid to cut the deficit.

U-turn on Esol funding causes enrolment mayhem for colleges, Monday 12 September 2011

The government quietly changed its mind on the funding available for Esol classes, and the result has brought chaos to colleges. Last November the government announced the cash, which funds English classes for immigrants, would only available for those actively seeking work, such as those on jobseekers’ allowance, and employment support allowance. People on other benefits would have to pay half the cost, or have them funded by an employer. Critics feared it would make Esol inaccessible particularly for women with young children. In SFA documents published on their website last month the news of the U turn quietly slipped out, and although welcomed it has brought a huge amount of work to staff who are trying to manage it in colleges. In some towns staff have also been pounding the streets to make sure potential students know about the change.