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Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 11:27 GMT
Heads accuse under-funding councils
School funding has too many regional variations, say headteachers

Local authorities which are failing to pass on government funding to schools have been 'named and shamed' by a headteachers' union.

The National Association of Head Teachers has published a list of local authorities which it says are giving below the amount required by the government.

Westminster has been named as the authority furthest below its target for education funding - at 8.3% below the required minimum - followed by the London Borough of Southwark - which is 6.9% below the required figure.

The union's list of the 12 authorities which pass on the least of their education budget (with percentages representing the margin below the minimum requirement):

    Westminster 8.3%
    Southwark 6.2%
    Newham 5.4%
    Manchester 6.6%
    Kensington and Chelsea 6.9%
    Haringey 6.9%
    Hackney 6.4%
    Cambridgeshire 5.6%
    Newham 5.4%
    Newcastle 4.9%
    Tower Hamlets 4.7%
    Blackburn and Darwen 4.7%
    Salford 4.3%


In contrast, Southend on Sea passes on the largest amount to its schools, with 7.5% above the required minimum.

David Hart says the current funding system is "ramshackle" and "past its sell-by date"
The government says that local authorities should pass on 80% of funding to schools - but the NAHT says that the current system is "ramshackle" and produces wide regional variations.

"All the money which should be spent on education is not being spent," said the union's general secretary, David Hart, who said that the current funding system is "past its sell-by date".

The NAHT is calling for a national system of school funding, which it says will reduce the anomalies and complexities of the local funding calculations which are currently being applied.

"There is no earthly reason why an infant pupil in Cambridgeshire should be funded so differently from one in Lincolnshire," said Mr Hart.
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See also:
22 Nov 99 |  Education
Funding doubts over performance pay
21 Sep 99 |  Education
Schools take control of standards fund
30 Mar 99 |  Education
Blunkett rejects councils' plans

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