ASDAN provides reaction to yesterday's Budget speech

Published

Responding to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget speech yesterday (Wednesday, March 16) Maggie Walker, ASDAN CEO, said:

“As is always the case on Budget Day, the devil will be in the detail and we await with interest the publication today of the Education White Paper, announced by Mr Osborne in his speech.

“We welcome the Chancellor’s concern for children from disadvantaged and deprived backgrounds and, indeed, all the young people he consistently referred to in his speech as the ‘next generation’.  However, his proposals to make all schools academies, and lengthen the school day, somehow miss the point of what is required.

“A rise in mental health problems among young people comes at a time of increasing school accountability and growing pressure on pupils to pass tests from a very young age. We have an acute national shortage of teachers, and Ministers have so far refused to make PSHE a statutory part of the curriculum, which would give young people the coping strategies needed to deal with some of the challenges of modern life.

“Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of young people are not receiving a balanced curriculum that contains core academic subjects alongside creative, arts and skills-based learning. Taken together, all of these factors would provide the ‘next generation’ with the opportunities to succeed, to stay safe and healthy and to actively contribute to society in adulthood.  

“ASDAN remains committed to working with all schools, whatever their status in the education system, to ensure that children and young people of all abilities are given the chance to succeed and improve their life chances.”