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EDITIONS
Thursday, 30 May, 2002, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Schools getting less than they thought
school needing repairs
There is more money for capital works

Schools in England are waking up to the fact that a lump sum they thought they were getting - apparently announced in the Budget - does not exist.

The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, said in his Budget speech that "direct payments" to secondary head teachers would be 114,000 and payments to a typical primary school would be 39,300.

He was careful to mention "capital investment" but added that it was "money to be spent for the school's priorities, on the school, by the school itself."

This was widely taken to be the same sort of lump sum he had previously given to schools to spend as they wished. It is not.

Little is new

When he said a typical primary school with 250 pupils would get 39,300 it will get 24,700 to spend as it wants - the recurrent "school standards grant", now in its third year, which had been announced already.

The rest is a 14,622 capital allocation - of which 12,185 was already in schools' budgets for this year.

The new money is 2,437 - which also has to be spent on capital projects.

The secondary head's 114,000 is 72,000 of recurrent funding and 42,732 capital - of which 7,122 is new.

'Misled'

The general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, David Hart, said: "I think head teachers were seriously misled by the Chancellor's Budget statement.

"They certainly took it to mean new money which was going to make a major difference to their budgets this year but it's clearly nothing like that."

His association's annual conference in Torquay next week would be debating the fact that the budget situation for many schools was "very, very tight".

The general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, John Dunford, also thought Gordon Brown was referring to a lump sum direct to schools.

"Heads set great store by the flexibility of this money," he said.

Diverted

"Far too much government money is earmarked and the core budgets of schools this year are showing little sign of the increased funding that the government says it is putting into education."

He suspects much of it is being diverted by local education authorities for purposes other than education.

"The beauty of the school standards grant is that it bypasses all that," he said.

"The governing body and the head had complete flexibility in its use and we need far more in that way."

Although it is not literally a cheque straight to the school - technically it comes via the local education authority along with the rest of a school's money - it has to be passed on in its entirety.

As one funding expert put it, "it doesn't touch the sides" and cannot be diverted to other uses.


The table below shows the new capital schools are getting, the amount of direct "standards grant", and the total Gordon Brown was referring to.
Type and size of school Extra capital School Standards
grant
Total
Primary, Nursery, PRU
100 pupils 1,874 7,200 18,448
200 pupils 2,250 13,900 27,398
400 pupils 3,000 24,700 42,696
Typical primary: 250 pupils 2,437 24,700 39,322
600 pupils 3,749 30,900 53,393
800 pupils 4,499 49,400 76,391
Secondary, CTCs
600 pupils 4,874 59,600 88,840
1,200 pupils 8,247 72,000 121,479
Typical secondary: 1,000 pupils 7,122 72,000 114,732
1,800 pupils 11,620 84,300 154,018
Special schools
100 pupils 2,624 20,600 36,346
200 pupils 3,749 28,800 51,293
Source: Department for Education and Skills

See also:

17 Apr 02 | UK Education
17 Apr 02 | UK Education
07 Mar 01 | Budget 2001
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