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 Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK
Heads want school funding review
Education is promised more in the July spending review
Head teachers want a fundamental review of school funding, similar to the Wanless report into the health service.

The Secondary Heads Association said if the type of report produced by Derek Wanless had been applied to schools, he would have made a case for doubling education spending.

"If Wanless researched funding levels in comparable countries, he would be able to make out as good a case for doubling funding for education as he has in the case of health," said the union's general secretary, John Dunford.

Budget windfall

While Chancellor Gordon Brown's Budget certainly did not double education spending - it did offer a windfall payment to all schools.

Head teachers of typical secondary schools will receive a direct payment of £114,000, said the Chancellor, and a typical primary school head will receive £39,300.

John Dunford
John Dunford: "We need a Wanless report"

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, welcomed the additional cash for head teachers, but said the union would be watching this summer's comprehensive spending review to see if it dealt with the critical issues affecting schools.

"If the comprehensive spending review does not come up trumps on matters such as workload and performance related pay, then all hell will let loose," said Mr Hart.

He summed up the Budget as "all promise and not a lot of delivery".

Eamonn O'Kane, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers said it too would be watching carefully for the details in this summer's comprehensive spending review.

Overall spending unclear

Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the chancellor had not made clear in his Budget how much the increase in overall spending on education was to be.

"Without adequate funding, recruitment into the profession will continue to decline.

Doug McAvoy
Doug McAvoy says teacher recruitment will remain a problem without adequate funds
"It must be assumed that the rise in direct grants to schools is additional to any increase from the comprehensive spending† review," said Mr McAvoy.

Julie Grant, president of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: † "The money promised directly to schools is most welcome and most schools could spend it several times over."

But the 1% increase in national insurance would not help teacher recruitment - particularly in areas with high costs such as London, Ms Grant said.

"The increase on both employers' and employees' national insurance effectively hits education funding twice, because all of this money has to come out of hard-pressed schools' budgets," she said.

Higher education

Diana Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK - the umbrella group representing universities - said the body welcomed the chancellor's commitment to increase significantly the share of national income invested in education.

"We urge him to back up his words with extra investment in the spending review, and we look forward to working with the government to meet the key investment areas we identified in our submission to the review."

The Budget had a strong emphasis on health, noted Baroness Warwick.

"Universities of course form an essential part of the NHS - notably in our provision of health professional education.

"It is important that universities receive their share of this extra health investment if the service improvements the government is committed to delivering in the NHS are to be achieved," she said.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the Association of University Teachers, said she welcomed the clear commitment made to put further investment in universities and colleges as part of this summer's spending review.

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See also:

17 Apr 02 | Education
17 Apr 02 | Education
02 Apr 02 | Education
27 Nov 01 | Education
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