In the middle of last week the Department of Education and Science (good to see an old friend returned to its proper naming) published its projections for school numbers to the age of 16:
- 2010: 7,431,000
- 2011: 7,448,000 (up 0.23% on the previous year)
- 2012: 7,493,000 (up by 0.6% on the previous year)
- 2013: 7,561,000 (up by 0.9% on the previous year)
- 2014: 7,614,000 (up effectively 1% on the previous year)
Those numbers are pretty reliable, since the children involved are already in schools, or born and eventually looking for schools.
So, working on the principle of a quart out of a pint pot:
Schools in England will not now see their budgets rise in real terms over the next four years, the government has admitted.
This is because of changes to the official forecast of inflation, it says.
The Chancellor George Osborne announced a 0.1% real terms rise for schools in the spending review.
And, it goes without saying, the Secretary of State for Education:
Mr Gove described it as a “good settlement” for schools
Mr Gove was educated at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen. That is a private school. The school’s motto (omni nunc arte magistra) is taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, book VIII. The scene is Vulcan’s workshop, where he urges the Cyclops to hurry up with the great shield Venus has requested for Aeneas [John Dryden's version]:
“My sons,” said Vulcan, “set your tasks aside;
Your strength and master-skill must now be tried.
Arms for a hero forge; arms that require
Your force, your speed, and all your forming fire.”
He said. They set their former work aside,
And their new toils with eager haste divide.
A flood of molten silver, brass, and gold,
And deadly steel, in the large furnace roll’d;
Of this, their artful hands a shield prepare,
Alone sufficient to sustain the war.
A war … on whom?