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Unions 2000 Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Fairer funding call for schools
classroom
The "postcode lottery" of funding should end, says union
Schools should have a more equal system for funding, says a teachers' union leader.

Kay Driver, general secretary of the Professional Association of Teachers, says that the "postcode lottery" of current funding should be replaced by a system which will allow schools to receive a similar amount per pupil.

We now have funding by postcode in education, where a 14 year old in one local education authority can be worth 2,000 more than his friend, with schools meeting the same fixed costs

Kay Driver, Professional Association of Teachers

Speaking at the union's annual conference in Cheltenham, Ms Driver said that there could be as much as 2,000 difference in funding per pupil between local education authorities.

Proposing the scrapping of the present system, Ms Driver suggested that it should be replaced by a standard payment to schools for all children of a similar age, wherever they lived in England and Wales.

Additional funding, such as might be necessary for additional support, would then be provided separately.

"PAT favours a national funding formula to cut out basic inequalities between local education authorities," she said.

"We now have funding by postcode in education, where a 14 year old in one local education authority can be worth 2,000 more than his friend, with schools meeting the same fixed costs."

The general secretary's speech also highlighted the possible ramifications for schools of the introduction of human rights legislation.

The rights of parents to be provided with an education for their children which conforms with their "religious and philosophical convictions" could lead to disputes in areas such as sex education, suggested Ms Driver, "re-awakening the debate on Section 28".

See also:

01 Jul 99 | UK Education
23 Mar 00 | UK Education
01 Jun 00 | UK Education
08 Feb 00 | UK Education
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