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Do the state of the roads have a higher priority over children’s education?

A decision by the government to hand schools less money than is due to be spent on fixing potholes has been branded “inexplicable” by a headteachers’ union.

Philip Hammond pledged in yesterday’s budget to give schools an extra £400 million in capital grants, but this pales in comparison to the £6.7 billion needed to bring school buildings up to scratch.

The £400 million investment is also less than the £420 million offered up to fix potholes on the country’s roads, and the comparison has been lambasted by unions.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said school leaders and families will be “infuriated”.

“On one hand, he has acknowledged that school budgets are under pressure, and that hard-working families have shouldered the biggest burden of austerity,” Whiteman said. “But on the other, he has failed to find any new money to restore the £2.8bn of real terms cuts made since 2015 and done nothing to alleviate that pressure.”

He pointed to a recent acceptance by the government that schools are now expected to do more and said it was “utterly inexplicable that there was no new money for schools in this budget”.

“Instead, the best news for schools was a £400 million one-off fund for next year to help schools ‘buy the little extras’ that they may need. The school funding crisis is far too deep to be solved in this way. The average payment to a primary school will be £10,000 but primary schools have seen their budgets cut by an average of £45,000 since 2015. In secondary, the cuts have been even more dramatic.

What are your views? Should the state of the roads have a higher priority over our children’s education? Has the Chancellor got his priorities wrong?

Do the state of the roads have a higher priority over children's education?

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Yodama
1 days ago
0
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The survival of humanity depends on knowledge, our children are our future and they should be given the best education.
Who is going to explain to them that education will be curtailed in order to fix potholes.
A ridiculous idea altogether.

Compensation claims for pothole damage last year was approx £1.8 million......

Stop the fat cats creaming off tax payers hard earned cash.
Yet again, we pay the price for incompetence.
Alicia
7th Nov 2018
1
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Yes the potholes are damaging cars and causing accidents.
SandraR49
3rd Nov 2018
4
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As a country when I grew up in the 50’s to approx the 80’s. Roads were swept, repaired, weeded on a regular basis. In school we had swimming lessons and extra curricular lessons like conceding, sailing, field trips etc. These were all funded by the state. Our hospitals were manageable with matrons in charge of all the staff at each premise. I know we had problems with power cuts and rubbish removal due to some upheaval in the government and the unions but we got through that. Police were in abundance on the beat and on the road, local police stations in areas so you could call someone quickly. Now whatever money is available it does not seem to cover any of these expenses and yet more people are contributing via tax and purchases so where is this money going. Why do we have a deficit of funds for us to use in our country for the benefit of the population? The question should never happen as the funds should be there for the counties needs. If it isn’t then why not is a more important question.
Kes
4th Nov 2018
3
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I'll tell you where the money has been going to. The EU, who for years and years have been bleeding us dry and our governments, have aided and abetted them. Also, we continue to send enormous amounts of money out of our country, as overseas aid. All to countries who are rich beyond our wildest dreams. Its criminal!
Lionel
2nd Nov 2018
1
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I'm fairly well hacked off with the entire political and Civil Service establishment. It seems to me they each serve paying lobbyists and themselves; the highest paying lobbyist appears to be the EU! Joe Public, that's us, is left in limbo. Democracy? Mmmm ...

How have we got to the point in a Budget where it's a case of kids or roads?

A spokesman for a national motoring organisation said after the snows this year there were an estimated £100 billion of repairs needed on British roads. This Chancellor gifts us £400 million.

England's education budget is currently £102 billion. I believe, pro rata, the highest it has ever been. Yet manifestly standards in education are falling what with fudges in pass marks and adjustments to curricula to 'modernise,' it.

I don't hold our teachers to blame. No. It's politicians in Westminster using our kids as a political pawn. Education should never be a political football. In a better world it would join the Police, NHS and the military as ring fenced against politician's interference.

Westminster, like Washington, is built on a swamp or marshland. It seems to me we need to drain the Westminster swamp and begin building an effective, trustworthy political system. But, if we're old enough for Silver Surfers we haven't got enough life left to witness that!

In the words of Cromwell addressing the Rump Parliament in April 1653: “You have been sat to long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!.”

Rooftop, that's just lifting a corner of my view of Westminster. Any comments?
seaking
2nd Nov 2018
0
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Children are the future
viking
31st Oct 2018
1
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I have commented before on the governments allocation of money being based on............. " rob Peter to pay Paul". This is a prime example of their economic strategy
Billythequiche
31st Oct 2018
2
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The question is as meaningless as ''are apples tastier than oranges?'' You may as well ask if a head teacher's salary is more important than text books. Education and roads are very differently funded. Are all revenues from fuel taxes and road fund licences used on the roads? Are all funds available to schools from taxation used for the benefit of the children's education? A lot of our political problems stem from questions like this, they are rhetorical and invite division and rule of the loudest voice. This is nothing to do with political parties or fiscal policies. You cannot have a reasoned discussion on issues if the bullet points are only rallying cries; look at Brexit. All governments are at times guilty of populist actions, the most publicised issues were NHS and potholes QED.
If the reasons for the level of funding for both issues were separately argued it would make more sense.
Perhaps if the question had been if policing was less important than HS2 or Crossrail, the reaction may have been different.
Dek
30th Oct 2018
3
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I have a similar background and feelings as Wilf but mine go back around 73 yrs, Munsterlander -Tipex and gluesticks ??
I managed to get a Council funded scholarship to the local Grammar school. The war was on and equipment was short.
I played for all the school rugger teams but had to make do with what jersey I could get !..
It was fortunate that pre-war, the governors had built a large Main Hall accompanied by well equipped science labs, a woodworkshop and metalworkshop and two Gyms. Marvellous ! Our classrooms however, were detached single storey, old brick and wooden roofed buildings with concrete floors. Each was lit by eight lamps with green enamelled shades ,spaced out to hang over eight beds.!
Yes, they were First World War wards of a large hospital....
In a larger building there was a well lit room with skylights, my form room at one point, and this had been the Operating Theatre !
Desks were the old type, heavy lift up lids and holes for inkwells. Some rooms had a roll board on the wall but most had blackboards and easels with wooden chalk wipers. I was quite good at catching or dodging these when thrown.!
I think Biro pens became available, so these were prized.
Richard Attenborough had left to start his Film career but younger brother David Attenborough was there, and a prefect, although never gave me a detention !!
My point ? Yes, in current competitive times and progress it is necessary to fully fund schools, but there needs to be the inward spirit and encouragement given to pupils mainly by parents, then teachers, to succeed whatever.
I walked to school, but later my Dad got a twin cylinder Jowet car, 7hp as it came under the Road Tax rating as a motor bike.! Current potholes would have wrecked it !
(If you have read all this, thanks for your patience. I have no claim to fame --could do better !)
Wilf
30th Oct 2018
2
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Dek your story is interesting. I suppose the point is also to a degree there was more discipline in schools but having said that my comprehensive in the late 60s and early 70s was anarchy. Widespread bullying, even teachers being hit? What is wrong in the UK. I cannot image schools in Japan putting up with the bad behaviour in UK schools. Maybe its a cultural thing? Do they have pot holes in Japan I wonder? probably not if they way they make their cars is anything to go by!
Dek
30th Oct 2018
2
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Wilf Yes. I think there was more discipline, including the cane, but there was a certain respect from us pupils . I remember there was an oportunity however, when the school 1st rugger team played the masters !!! although some of the teachers had been in the Services . Not too many fights or bullying ,It soon seemed to be sorted . Also respect for our parents, as I lived in streets of terraced houses in a close community and news travelled fast ! I think you are right about Japan and the cultural upbringing. I also woudn't be surprised if they have a 'Pot Hole Patrol ' amongst their heavy traffic !
Lionel
1st Nov 2018
1
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All these years on I have yet to understand why Wilson's Labour governments brought in comprehensive education. Instead of elevating state schools to the standards of public schools they went the other way. Result? An increasingly unaffordable amount spent on State education without the commensurate results!

My own school was a minor London public school. All male staff bar one were ex-military. That odd one had been an Australian rugby pro with a physique and temper to match. My form master was the first British NCO into Belsen - one didn't mess with him. Another chap had been a military chaplain on the Normandy beaches. Our head master was in the original Tudor school building when it was bombed. He got a medal for saving all the children.

The school taught traditional middle class values - self discipline, selflessness, respect, honour and truthfulness, all of which have stood me in good stead. These qualities seem largely to have been labelled historic these days.

When I compare that to the majority output of modern State schools I'm ashamed of my country failing so many its young people when going for a higher standard of education and behaviour would have yielded very different results.
Wilf
1st Nov 2018
1
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Lionel I can tell you why the Wilson Government bought in comprehensive education and then successive governments largely scrapped grammar schools. Its because they wanted an egalitarian society. All well and good in many respects and I still believe Blighty is one of the best countries in the world to live in. BUT as you rightly say they all went for the lowest common denominator. Result schools suffered. In my comprehensive the teachers were hopeless. many were just managing a few clowns in the classroom who were totally disruptive. My kids in their 20s had exactly the same situation in their comprehensive. Whats the solution? Bring back discipline and as you say selflessness, respect, honour and truthfulness. If we could do this society would be a lot better. Singapore has tiny amounts of crime and the highest educated kids in the world. Why? discipline and respect. Blighty could get there but I cannot see it. Shame. As for the potholes? Simple just fill them in surely this country is capable of that!
Lionel
1st Nov 2018
1
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Potholes? Just after the snow this year I read a County Council had threatened to take a man to court for putting aggregate in a pothole. They said they had skilled crews filling pot holes. Besides which the very willing village resident was told he was not insured against personal accident nor public liability if a pedestrian or vehicle was damaged by his repair.

Yes, this country is capable of so much more but it's ring fenced by counter productive legislation.

I agree this is one of the best countries to live in. But an egalitarian society cannot be achieved. It's just not possible because humanity is not born equal by circumstance or ability.

In our younger years there were pathways by which less advantaged people could improve themselves and gain a more rewarding place in society. And, it must be said, be of more value to society. But, these pathways have been diverted from their original purpose or closed down. Britain, it seems to me, now imports is trained talent rather than produce home grown.
Wilf
1st Nov 2018
1
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Your last sentence is important Lionel as I always think nowadays that politicians witter on about getting the brightest and best immigrants. the problem is globally those people then leave their own countries in Africa and Asia for example to the detriment of their own countrymen and women. But thats globalisation. You are right as ever democracy is not working. As Churchill said "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." Its a good point. UK Limited may not be perfect in fact far from it but better countries in all aspects? Switzerland, Singapore, the Nordics. I think thats probably about it! Back to education though we do need a revolution. We are still taeching 30 kids in a class the same way we did 30-40-50 years ago. Technology should be changing all this rapidly shouldn't it?
MrsPat
30th Oct 2018
5
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My question would be where does all the road tax go to if its not spent on the roads? With about 30 million cars the tax receipts must be tremendous but all I can see round here are pot holes. No new motorways are being built. Government needs to publish its spending on the internet.
Wilf
30th Oct 2018
3
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They both have a high priority. One point is to cut all the leaders of local councils wages-they are a joke ...some of them earn 2 or 3 times more than the Prime Minister! How on earth can that be right they are bureaucrats and bean counters! The roads do need fixing they are a joke compared to our neighbours in France. The schools are a priority. We need the best education in the world. I went to a comprehensive school 45 years ago. it was a joke. Then to the local grammar school for 2 years-superb education BUT I was a poor boy and most of the boys there came from well off families. I have always thought "if only all our kids could get that high level of education". Our teachers seem to have to "crowd manage" bring back some serious discipline in schools. Sorry rant over!
jeanmark
30th Oct 2018
4
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No and my question would be "Why do we pay road tax, as none appears to be spent on roads"? However, having experience over a half hour drive in an ambulance when my husband had a heart attack, I would gladly have prioritised the pot holes!!
MrsPat
30th Oct 2018
1
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Jean you are so right where is all this road tax going? I does make you wonder.
Munsterlander
30th Oct 2018
3
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No of course not. My daughter is a teacher at primary school and recently they did not even have Tipex and glue sticks and there was minimal funding for sports equipment. How can this be right? Yes I agree we need to fix the potholes. In that case add some tax to petrol and let the drivers who use the roads most pay for it. In fact put even more tax on diesels and tax them off the road. (I have a diesel by the way) and use this tax to pay for potholes.

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