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Thursday, April 22, 1999 Published at 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK


Schools 'robbed of £180m'

Town halls are accused of diverting funds

Councils are "robbing" schools of millions of pounds of government funding, according to a headteachers' union.

David Hart: "The money is not coming through"
A survey published by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) suggests that seven out of 10 local authorities are not increasing their education budgets by as much as ministers intended.

The NAHT says councils are using £180m of the £1.1bn provided by the government for education spending to fund other council services.

The union's General Secretary, David Hart, described the situation as "scandalous".

He said: "Local education authorities are robbing schools of millions of pounds which the government intended for school budgets."

Graham Lane: "The figures are wrong"
But the Local Government Association disputed the figures.

Its Education Chairman, Graham Lane, said: "Current government findings show that more than two-thirds of LEAs are spending well in excess of their education targets."

The NAHT survey covered 57 of the 150 local education authorities in England.

It found that 38 of them had not passed on the intended increases in full, diverting a total of £81.3m into the budgets of other services.

Using these figures as a base, the NAHT estimates an under-spend of about £180m across the 150 authorities.

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