In the paranoia of post-war America, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI set its sights on a potential source of dangerous communist subversion: Frank Capra’s family Christmas classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.
This week’s Budget increased Covid catch-up spending for education, but only to a third of what experts say schools need – proof once again that this government doesn’t care about kids.
The Tories have approved school catch-up funding of as little as £50 per pupil per year, compared to £1,600 in the US and £2,500 in Holland – just the latest policy which will punish poorer kids the most.
As schools reopen today, the knowledge gap between disadvantaged pupils who lacked the resources for home learning and their wealthier counterparts will be evident. We can’t let the government get away with leaving poor children behind once again.
Nearly ten months into the pandemic, the government has failed to bridge the digital divide – leaving 1.78 million schoolchildren without proper means to learn from home. It is a scandal that could have been avoided.
This year, students exposed the myth of England’s ‘meritocratic’ education system and overturned the government’s A Level results. But dealing with the class divides in our schools will be a far longer struggle.
The government has launched a National Tutoring Programme to help students ‘catch-up’ with Covid lost time – but it is far too little to compensate for the massive inequalities that access to tutoring introduce into our education system.
Figures released this week show that more than 1 million children have signed up for free school meals for the first time since Covid-19. It’s a symbol of the deep social inequalities that scar our education system.