Wales gets its Barnett boost as O’Dowd’s decision on common funding formula is ‘reversed’…

So, here’s John O’Dowd trying to explain why the money he threatened to take away from schools will no longer be taken away. He explains that he knew all along that he had an extra set of contingency cash of up to £15.8 million to fill the hole his proposals make. There were 15,000 responses to the proposed changes. Afterwards Sheila Davidson called it political playacting: The fact remains that an awful lot of school resources went into responding. It seems to …

Read more…

Stormont’s odd debate on free school dinners. “Whatever you do, don’t mention child poverty.”

I cannot think of another polity in which a discussion on the increase in the uptake of free school meals could almost entirely avoid any direct reference to the possible corresponding increase in child poverty. I say possible, because in yesterday’s private member’s debate on free school meals was based on barely any data concerning the drivers behind the increase beyond a ministerial o extend free meals to independent sector (affecting about 700 pupils) The debate was scheduled to start at …

Read more…