Tim Worstall puts Polly Toynbee straight on the cost of the government raid on the pensions fund. Her comment that: “£5bn is a gnat bite” demonstrates how inured we are becoming to telephone-number figures. (“Only a couple of million? Is that all?”)
I had occasion (just don’t ask) to trawl some local authority circulars on the DfES site – worth a look to see how much is going on ‘parenting early intervention’ projects and the like.
One that caught my attention is the pilot of ‘Transition information sessions for parents’ (pdf). Apparently:
The project is envisaged as follows:
each of the schools involved offers a transition information session to a cohort of parents – all parents of children joining Reception or Year 7 in September 2006. The sessions help to build a firm foundation for effective partnerships between parents and their child’s school; engage parents in discussion about wider parenting issues; and provide a gateway to the wider services available for parents, through extended schools and other local and national services.
In other words, it’s about arranging meetings to spot those who need parenting ‘interventions’ and make sure they and their children use services. Nine local authorities are piloting this scheme – at a total cost of £1,126,550. (Is that all? I’ll have three of ’em)
Presumably if the pilots are deemed a roaring success, they will be ‘rolled out’ nationally. Extrapolating from the figure above to all 150 local authorities, my calculator makes that £18,775,833.