If ever there was an example of a failure of so-called "joined-up" Government then the cuts in Sixth form funding this year is it. For those that don't know the story it goes like this.
The Government has a policy of keeping as many student in school until they are 18 as possible. This has resulted in a massive spike in the number of pupils taking A-Levels and the number of students that need o be budgeted for by schools.
The Government, via its quango, the Learning and Skills Council, told schools in January they would get X amount of money for the X amount of pupils they would have. Now the LSC have changed their minds and said, oh you can;t have that much money or that many pupils anymore and cut the school's budgets.
The response of the Government is that they have not budgeted for more pupils staying on, even though their policy is to increase the number of pupils staying on. That suggests three possibilities.
Either they thought their policy was just a headline grabbing initiative and wouldn't be taken seriously. Or they're just incompetent and didn't realise that if you increase numbers at schools then budgets need to increase accordingly. Or, the most likely scenario. Both.
On the plus side of this however is the Ed Balls is probably going to be taken to court over it. Just don;t expect him to take any blame, they will blame the quango, because that is what a quango is for.