Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A shocking statistic

I spent the day at a meeting of educational publishers, much to Isabel's excitement - she made me promise to tell the woman from OUP how much she liked her Oxford Reading Tree books! More than I do, I could cheerfully chuck them out the window after two or three readings - thank goodness I don't have to listen to 30 children stumbling over Biff, Chip and Kipper's adventures!

Anyway, at the meeting we were presented with a range of statistics about the size of the UK educational content market, and one stat really hit home. I don't know why I hadn't really grasped it before, but it was to do with the percentage of school budgets which are spent on educational content each year in the UK. Hold onto your hats - it's less than 1%. LESS THAN 1%!!

The vast bulk of the budget, 85-90%, goes on staff, which I could have guessed, but I was shocked at the low level of spending on content resources. I think spending on staff's gone up recently because of the vast numbers of teaching assistants - we never had those in my day, and teachers had to make their own classroom displays. Just think of it! How put upon they must have felt. Anyway, from what I heard today, the days of the teaching assistant may be numbered given the level of budget cuts being demanded by the government - so if you're a teacher who relies on one, you might want to rethink this strategy!

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