Headteachers launched an attack yesterday on a government body's decision to spend £1m worth of taxpayers' cash on sponsoring ITV's hit game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The money is to be paid out by the University for Industry (UfI), which is responsible for encouraging people to update their skills, in exchange for an advertisement at the beginning and end of the programme. The UfI also runs the learndirect hotline which people can ring if they want to find out about adult education courses.
David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "I can't for the life of me understand what they were doing wasting a million pounds worth of taxpayers' money.
"Schools would give their right arm for £1m to support mainstream education. It seems to be a remarkably strange choice of programme to sponsor if one wants to boost adult learning."
The decision, which means the organisation will be sponsoring the show's twelfth run this autumn, was defended by UfI's marketing director, Phil Wade, who said: "The opportunity to sponsor Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? could not have come at a better time. The show regularly demonstrates to more than eight million viewers across the country the link between knowledge and the potential for wealth."
People who had two A-levels could earn, on average, about £600 more a month than those without qualifications, he added.
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