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Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
School 'cash for reform' plans due
Playground
Extra money will be linked to performance
"Radical reform" in secondary schools must follow the biggest spending boost for education in a generation, UK Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, is set to declare on Tuesday.

This could mean head teachers of successful schools becoming "superheads" who take over other struggling local schools.

Education spending, UK 2003-2006
14.7bn extra per year
50,000 extra for secondary schools
10,000 extra for primary schools
125,000 for 1,400 secondary schools in tough areas
Children's centres with 300,000 places
Education maintenance allowances 1,500 per year
Spending per pupil up 50% since 1997
The education secretary is to unveil to the Commons how an extra 12.8bn is to be allocated for schools, colleges and universities in England.

The funds are part of a 61bn rise in public spending over the next three years announced by the Gordon Brown on Monday.

The chancellor also promised big rises for transport and housing.

But shadow chancellor Michael Howard condemned the plans saying "more money without real reform just won't work".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that when it came to the next election voters would be faced with a choice between the "same old policies" under Labour or a "new radical approach" that would deliver world class public services under the Tories.

'Investment for reform'

There are expected to be four themes to Estelle Morris's Commons statement:

  1. Leadership - good leadership being crucial to raising standards
  2. Reform of the comprehensive system, with more distinctive schools
  3. Workforce focus - a promise of preparation time for teachers
  4. Discipline - intolerance of bad behaviour.

Proposals for up to 300 advanced schools are the centrepiece of the secondary school reforms.

Under existing plans, more than half of pupils are set to be taught in specialist schools - with ultimately no limit on their number.

Specialist schools

The "advanced specialists" are intended be centres of excellence, helping and possibly taking over failing schools nearby.

Schemes to tackle bad behaviour and truancy could be extended across the country.

Mr Brown also said that 1,400 good secondary schools in difficult areas would be able to get an extra 125,000.

Teachers will be looking to see the details of the "strings attached" to the promise of more money.

They will also be asking how much of the bigger budget will be used to settle their long-running claim for a shorter working week - and whether cutting teacher workload will be linked to the extra money promised to schools.

Brown statement
Public services get 61bn boost
Education budget up 6% per year
5.9bn for building new homes
Defence wins 3.5bn extra
Another 3.5bn for fight against crime

In presenting the spending review for 2003 to 2006, Mr Brown made clear the extra funding depended on improvements in performance.

He warned that the increased funding would be matched by a tougher response to failing schools and local authorities.

The spending review will be used as a springboard for further changes to the secondary sector, which is already moving away from the comprehensive model.

"We must deliver a secondary education system that delivers higher standards, better behaviour and more choice," Ms Morris will say.

"Investment alone will not transform secondary schools."

This is likely to mean improving results in the early secondary years; creating greater "diversity" in the types of secondary school and strengthening efforts to reduce truancy and to tackle bad behaviour.

'Disappointed'

There also seems set to be a fresh approach to pre-school education, with the chancellor announcing the creation of "children's centres" with 300,000 places.

Universities have already expressed their disappointment that the chancellor has not responded to their plea for an extra 10bn.

The education secretary might well put off specifying an allocation for higher education until later in the year - she has promised detailed proposals for the sector in late October or early November.

Another great unknown for the budget will be how much is to be spent on the overhaul of student funding, to be announced at the same time.

The further education sector, which says it needs 2.6bn, will also be looking for explanations of how the budget is to be divided up.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's James Westhead
"Many feel the government is interfering too much"
The government's plans for future spending are published on 15 July

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See also:

16 Jul 02 | Education
16 Jul 02 | Education
16 Jul 02 | Politics
15 Jul 02 | Education
15 Jul 02 | Education
15 Jul 02 | Education
15 Jul 02 | Politics
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