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Nevil Chiles:

Nevil Chiles was born in Birmingham in 1970. He attended Haybridge High School in Hagley in the West Midlands, successfully completing 11 'O' Levels and 4 'A' Levels before leaving school in 1988.

After a year in Australia Nevil attended King's College, London where he read History, graduating in 1992. In the mid 1990s Nevil worked and travelled extensively throughout South East Asia and Australia before becoming involved in education. Nevil worked as a private GCSE tutor to an influential family in Manila in the Philippines before returning to London to take up a full time post in the GCSE Department at Collingham School, Kensington in 1997.

At Collingham Nevil taught History and English at both GCSE and A Level. In 2002 Nevil left Collingham to set up Kensington & Chelsea Tutors Limited.

Dr. Anna Clark:

Anna Clark was born in Stourbridge in 1972. After leaving Mander Portman Woodward (MPW) in Birmingham in 1991 with 4 'A' Levels she went on to the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine to study Medicine. She qualified as a doctor in 1999 and became a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2001. Despite her involvement in Kensington & Chelsea Tutors she continues to work as a GP.

An Education System Lost in Politics

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In the recent budget, Philip Hammond announced a provision of hundreds of millions of pounds for new free schools and grammar schools in England.

Against this background (the BBC has reported today), analysis by the Education Policy Institute indicates that every school in England will see budget cuts before 2020.

So build new schools whilst the existing system crumbles?

Ironically, this is exactly the situation the government’s new funding formula for schools was supposed to address.

The Policy Institute’s analysis looks at the impact of the new national funding formula against the backdrop of financial pressures in schools. Its findings show that even schools benefiting from the funding shake-up will see their gains wiped out by budget pressures.

In the report, the EPI states that, "There are unlikely to be any schools in England which will avoid a real-terms cut in per-pupil funding by 2019-20, even in areas benefiting from the new formula.".

In direct contradiction to this, in their 2015 manifesto, the Tory government promised a real-terms increase in the schools’ budget during this Parliament.


o   "Under a future Conservative government, the amount of money following your child into school will be protected.

o   “As the number of pupils increases, so will the amount of money in our schools."

As ever in politics, these are wishy washy, generalised statements which are designed to both sound positive but also be completely unquantifiable.

But despite widespread concern over funding pressures, there was no extra money earmarked for school revenue budgets in the Budget last week.

The new formula was brought in to address historical inequalities between areas in schools funding. However, the EPI has said that the plans were unlikely to satisfy many lower funded areas.

And yet there is money to build new schools?

The EPI also finds that pupils that live in the least deprived areas will experience the highest relative gains.

o   "Additional funding allocated for deprivation, low prior attainment and other additional factors, will be needed just to lessen the impact of cutbacks, rather than provide extra support, while schools which receive little additional funding will be in dire straits."

The General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), Dr Mary Bousted, summed up the feelings amongst those in the profession.

o   "Despite the government's claims to the contrary, the EPI's report has provided independent evidence to support what the ATL has been saying for months - that schools are facing significant real-terms cuts in per-pupil funding and will need to find £3bn in savings annually by 2020."

Opposition politicians have obviously criticised the government. That, it would seem, is mostly what a politician’s job entails.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner:

o   "Less than two years ago the Tories promised millions of parents that they would protect the money that is spent per pupil on their children's education. This report shows that it is yet another manifesto promise they are breaking."

Liberal Democrat education spokesman John Pugh:

o   "Schools in my own area have already written to me warning that they will have to cut staff numbers in order to avoid untenable budget deficits."

The situation is clear; schools are not even being allotted enough government money to stand still. At the same time, shiny new schools, many of them selective, are to be built from scratch.

What the system obviously needs is more money. Why not shake up the present behemoth? Strip out the mountains of red tape and bureaucracy, simplify the exam system, unify the examination boards. There is so much that could be done to make the present system better and less expensive to run. Unfortunately, it would require somebody with common sense; not an agenda.