A recent report found that the number of frontline education systems is growing at a rate of over a third a year.
The report, which examined how education systems in the UK are improving, found that between March 2017 and April 2018, there were more than 1,000 frontline education system additions and closures.
The report was commissioned by the National Audit Office and was published on Wednesday.
The National Audit is the government’s independent watchdog which assesses the effectiveness of the Government’s economic performance.
It said the rise in frontline education was driven by a number of factors including:a.
the Government ‘s commitment to invest in the frontline education sector, andb.
the expansion of local authorities’ capacity to administer the education sector.
The Government has also set a target of 50,000 additional frontline education places in the next five years.
It also said the Government would invest £2bn over the next 10 years in the National Learning Centre (NLC) to improve the provision of learning environments, support students and parents, and increase access to information and education.
However, the report warned that the Government needs to continue investing in the front line of education systems to prevent further cuts to the sector.
“The Government’s commitment to funding frontline education is well documented, but its delivery is uneven across the sector, with some local authorities not meeting their targets for the next year and some not even meeting their 2017 target,” it said.
“The scale of the funding gaps in the system and the lack of a clear plan for the future of the sector mean that, even as we have seen significant improvements in the last year, we still have a long way to go.”
A number of other findings in the report included: a.
Local authorities are struggling to meet the demand for training and support in the sector b. many of the largest front line education systems were not properly funded for the time being, with only a few of them receiving additional funding c. funding from the Government is stretched, and it is unclear how many more areas can be funded for next year, as it is impossible to predict what will be the demand in the future d. the funding to provide the right training and services is inadequate and is likely to be underfunded by years to come, with many areas of the education system receiving only a fraction of their funding e. local authorities have not prioritised the needs of vulnerable children and adults in their care and support services, and are failing to meet their own goals for those children and their carers, and f. some frontline education services are in the process of being decommissioned or transferred to the Department for Education.
“We know there is an urgent need for frontline education and it will not be too long before the Government begins to address this issue,” said Anne Robinson, National Audit Chair.
But, she added: “This report will not give us the answer we need to transform our systems to meet future demands.”
Instead, it will help us to ensure that our schools, communities, workplaces, universities and libraries are ready to support the needs and aspirations of the next generation.
“”There are also many challenges ahead of us, and the Government has a responsibility to ensure the most effective and efficient way to deliver its policies to meet those challenges is to get our system right,” she said.