Free schools and expensive hospitals

A couple of headlines today that inspire confidence in a fair education system and quality healthcare.
Another Grammar School – what decade are we in?
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will approve plans for Britain’s first new grammar school in 50 years. A new 450-pupil school in Sevenoaks, Kent, will be an annexe of the Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge as current law forbids new taxpayer-funded grammar schools, meaning only existing grammar schools can expand. Approval is set to be confirmed as the school’s governors met conditions set by lawyers at the DfE. Kent County Council said the plans are “compliant with the regulations” over satellite campuses. It is said that the approval of the school could see a wave of applications for similar institutions. The Guardian says the decision will see stiff legal and political opposition, with shadow education secretary Lucy Powell saying such schools are “the preserve of the privately tutored.”
Three in four hospitals deemed unsafe

A report from the CQC says that 74% of NHS hospitals are not safe enough, while 13% received the lowest possible ranking of “inadequate” and 61% are said to require improvement. Ratings were given to 98 hospital trusts, with just two given the top ranking of outstanding. Another 22 were judged to be good, 64 require improvement and 10 were deemed inadequate. The report said a “major reason for failings is insufficient numbers of staff and the use of temporary staff.” Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said of the findings: “We want to make our NHS the safest healthcare system in the world. There are some excellent examples of high quality care across the country but the level of variation is unacceptable. That’s exactly why we set up CQC’s independent inspection regime which shines a light on poor care to drive up standards.” Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander said: “Jeremy Hunt cannot keep ignoring serious warnings about unsafe and understaffed hospitals. The NHS is in a precarious position.” The study also found that 59% of residential and nursing homes provide good or outstanding care while only 11% of GP and out-of-hours services require improvement, with just 4% deemed inadequate.
This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 


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