I always had a bit of a problem getting my head around big numbers. As a Geography teacher, for example, I have always taught that the temperature at the centre of the Earth is something around 6,500 degrees. But how hot is that? Well, it's about thirty times as hot as the oven needs to be to cook at a pizza, I would explain to my Year 10 class. But neither I nor my GCSE Geography students were any the wiser. It was 'quite hot'. That was all they needed to know.
At first glance, the announcement that the DfE has put aside a further £1.5 billion pounds to make up for lost learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore looks 'quite generous', just like 6500 degrees sounds 'quite hot'. Equally, if I were to win the Euro Millions Lottery tonight and receive £109 million, I would consider myself 'quite rich'.
One and a half billion pounds, however, doesn't go that far when everybody has to have their share. It reminds me of a scene in 'Bruce Almighty' when Bruce, endowed with God's powers, decided to let everyone win the lottery. They only got a few cents each.
And so it is with the £1.5 billion of extra funding. I have done my calculations. Someone else had already worked out that £1.5 billion equated to £50 per pupil per year, but, drilling down a little further, I've worked out that this equates to about 25 pence per school day per pupil. T
This is about the cost of a small (220g) can of baked beans.