Can I ask a question? Would you describe yourself as 'academically gifted'?
Is the answer is yes, then good for you. If the answer is no, given the right support would you have still been able to flourish at school?
The reason for asking is that the Chancellor’s vision for schools focused on the “academically gifted”, rather than on giving all children the chance to fulfil their potential.
Of course, it's right that we provide an education system that works for the high-achievers. But on the other hand, it's wrong to assume children are simply born “gifted”. Many children start school at a disadvantage – living in poverty, in an unstable family environment, or even at risk of neglect or abuse. These children have little chance of being deemed “gifted”, and it’s the Government’s responsibility to ensure these children are not forgotten.
And beyond the school gates, many vulnerable children rely on social care services that are at breaking point. Demand for child protection services has increased almost 30% in the last five years, but council spending has fallen by over 20% in the same time. Local authorities simply can’t afford to support every child in need.
The simple fact is, that because children can’t vote, and often don't get their voices heard in the media, they are often a low priority for politicians. This budget failed to recognise they still have pressing needs and the right to a fair share of government spending both in education and social care.