From the TUC

Cuts Watch #241: Equality Impact Assessment of stopping Building Schools for the Future

13 Sep 2010, by in Cuts Watch

The Department for Education’s own assessment of the equality impact of the decision to stop the Building Schools for the Future programme confirms that this decision will have a disproportionate impact on the poorest children.

Today the TUC and UNISON published Where the Money Goes, which shows that the service cuts planned by the coalition will hit the poorest tenth of the population 13 times as hard as the richest tenth. The DfE assessment – slipped out so quietly you’d miss it if you weren’t looking – shows that this general conclusion applies to specific cuts. The statistically significant differential impacts include:

Mainstream schools

  • 17 per cent of the pupils in the schools where BSF investment has been stopped qualify for free school meals, compared with a national average of 13 per cent.
  • 17 per cent of pupils in BSF stopped schools have English as an Additional Language, compared with a national average of 11 per cent.
  • 76 per cent of pupils in BSF stopped schools are white, compared with a national average of 82 per cent.
  • 24 per cent of pupils in BSF stopped schools have Special Educational Needs, compared with a national average of 21 per cent.

Special schools

  • 39 per cent of the pupils in the schools where BSF investment has been stopped qualify for free school meals, compared with a national average of 32 per cent.
  • 12 per cent of pupils in BSF stopped schools have English as an Additional Language, compared with a national average of 10 per cent.
  • 80 per cent of pupils in BSF stopped schools are white, compared with a national average of 82 per cent.

The assessment sets a useful standard for judging whether Michael Gove is serious about the fairness agenda. It admits that

Adverse impact in the short term is possible,

but repeatedly reassures readers that

the decision to stop further development of the BSF programme does not mean the end of capital investment by the Department,

and

stopping these projects now does not mean that these schools will not in time receive investment.

The assessment says that it will be brought to the attention of the team carrying out the review of DfE capital spending Mr Gove announced on 5 July and that the review is considering

how to allocate capital in a fairer way in the future, concentrating on need as well as the condition of buildings.

Therefore, this document promises,

Remedial action will therefore be considered, though as all funding is currently committed for 2010-11, this will be for the next spending review period.

It is important that the government should be held to this – the Comprehensive Spending Review must demonstrate how the government  will compensate for the regressive impact of the decision to cancel Building Schools for the Future.

2 Responses to Cuts Watch #241: Equality Impact Assessment of stopping Building Schools for the Future

  1. Alex
    Sep 14th 2010, 10:47 am

    Richard, are you keeping this data in any structured format?

  2. Richard Exell

    Richard Exell
    Sep 14th 2010, 10:50 am

    Hi Alex,

    If you click on the Cuts Watch logo you can see the sub-headings we use or you can use the tags above after “File under”, but otherwise no.

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