Luke Hall – School Funding In A Post Truth World

Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall responds to analysis by the IFS and ‘School Cuts’ that show education spending will fall in real terms until 2019-2020.

Spending per pupil is expected to fall by 6.5% in real terms between 2015–16 and 2019–20.” feb. 2017[note; subsequently re-allocated funds may reduce the severity of this percentage figure].

High amongst the privileges conferred by election to the office of MP is a public platform. Similarly there are corresponding expectations amongst  the electorate relating to those privileges. When exercising the first, the great British public rightly tend to assume the second.

The School Cuts campaign group recently published a report that shows per pupil school funding in South Gloucestershire will be the lowest in the country by 2020 after accounting for inflation. Their analysis is predicated on raw data published by the Dept. for Education* and a forecast of inflation published by the Office for Budget Responsibility**.  Clearly, these findings will be of great concern to residents of the South Gloucestershire Local Authority area. Similarly, Luke Hall will feel duty bound to respond publicly in his capacity as local MP.

Luke Hall has indeed responded, and sought to dismiss this report out of hand. However, Luke Hall’s chosen line of attack raises more concerns than it succeeds in allaying. It might be supposed that the report would be sunk by a meticulous scrutiny of the methodology if it revealed fatal flaws in the argument and a presentation of a more plausible and robust interpretation put forward in it’s place.  Instead, Luke Hall seems not to have acquainted himself with the substance of the ‘School Cuts’ report, or to have sufficient grasp of the details surrounding School funding in our local authority area.

Post Truth
Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. oxforddictionaries.com

Luke Hall is attempting to shape public opinion by expression of an emotion without reference to facts.

Quote “I haven’t seen these figures myself but they sound incorrect” [Yate and Sodbury Gazette, 2 November 2017].

Well Mr Hall, you should consider it your duty to know weather or not they are incorrect before passing comment; emotional opinion devoid of a basis in fact has no place in discussions of such weighty importance.


*The data is available here:-https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs

**The forecast of inflation used in the analysis is published by the Office for Budget Responsibility here:-https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs The OBR was created in 2010 to provide independent and authoritative analysis of the UK’s public finances.

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