Cuts of all kinds have education in a spin

29th October 2010 at 01:00

There have been guffaws at the quangos and bureaucrats. But while there may be areas where efficiency savings could be made, those "pen pushers" are often really just front-line workers trying to help everyone access David Cameron's "Big Society" utopia.

As a school sports co-ordinator my job has been to get more young people to do more exercise and sport - yes, even the competitive sort - finding routes for them outside the tightly packed curriculum and the impossible-to-get-into school team. Under the national remit outlined by the Youth Sport Trust, I and other sports co-ordinators have been able to do this free from interference from school's senior leadership teams. Our work could be considered an old-fashioned throwback to "a greater good", but was still required to be accountable and cost-effective.

The recent spending cuts have taken away our national agenda and we now are to negotiate with heads as to the merits of our role. Naturally, some will see the bigger picture, while others, for whatever reason, will abandon 11 years of work.

Here lies the unpleasant fact about the Tories' Big Society: devolving power, money and opportunity to "the people" results in it being hoovered up by those with the means and inclination to get it.

Alex Harries, School sports co-ordinator, East Birmingham School Sports Partnership.

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