The last government is to blame for the shortage of school places, not the present one

Toby Young thinks Margaret Hodge, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, is being somewhat hypocritical to blame the current government  for the shortage of school places. This is from the Telegraph…

When it comes to sheer chutzpah, you’ve got to hand it to Margaret Hodge, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. Last year, it emerged that her family company had paid just 0.01 per cent tax on £2.1 billion of business generated in the UK just before she chastised a number of US companies about their tax arrangements. Yesterday, she had the effrontery to criticise the Department for Education for failing to provide enough primary school places  without making it clear that the responsibility for that failure lies entirely with the last government (of which she was a member).

The headline news is that we need an additional 250,000 primary schools places by September 2013. However, what Hodge’s report omitted to say is that the reason for this shortfall is because Labour reduced the total number of primary school places by 207,000 between 2003/04 and 2009/10 and, in the same period, cut the funding for extra school places by £150 million. This, in spite of the fact that the population of England grew at a faster rate under the last government than at any time since 1801 – thanks, in large part, to Labour’s open-door immigration policy. The present government has been doing its best to cope with the resulting crisis, committing over  £5 billion to funding new places.

So let’s get this straight. Margaret Hodge was a member of a government that presided over net immigration of approximately three million and a government that closed primary schools and cut the funding for additional places, and now she has the temerity to criticise the present government for failing to provide enough primary school places for the children of these new arrivals? As I say, that’s chutzpah for you.

More at: The last government is to blame for the shortage of school places, not the present one

Does @toadmeister have a fair point here? Are Labour responsible for the school places crisis? Or is blame irrelevant and the only that matters finding a solution? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via twitter…

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  1. simon_currie

    current government removed the funding for the Building schools for the future programme,this would have addressed issue.

  2. andyfenlon

    SchoolsImprove toadmeister The current government have had three years to try dealing with the issue but prefer to play the blame game.

  3. inwte

    SchoolsImprove toadmeister This does not warrant a detailed reply. He is an #idiot, getting yet more publicity.

  4. edujdw

    SchoolsImprove toadmeister don’t worry the looming teacher shortage caused by a shambolic School Direct will be all Gove’s fault.

  5. DenrooneyDenise

    SchoolsImprove toadmeister After 3 years they are still blaming labour! They should use the £60millon from free schools to fund places!!

    • toadmeister

      DenrooneyDenise SchoolsImprove They are. My charitable trust is opening a 2FE primary this September and a 1FE next September

  6. AndyKent3

    SchoolsImprove truly much chutzpah on show all round. Some will know how long it takes and what u need to build a school;-)

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