[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 15:38 GMT
In quotes: Schools spending
Fingers counting
Do the Chancellor's sums add up?

Schools and colleges in England are to undergo a four-year 36bn programme of refurbishment and rebuilding to make them "fit for the 21st Century", Chancellor Gordon Brown has told MPs.

He also announced that spending on schools and colleges would increase from 8.6bn in 2008 to 10bn by 2010 and 3 million free books for school starters.

Reactions to the pre-budget report follow below.

MARTIN WARD, DEPUTY, ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL AND COLLEGE LEADERS

We trust that this announcement will make the Comprehensive Spending Review next year more favourable for schools and colleges.

However, it's not yet clear how much of the funding is new investment or if it is money that has already been promised, but repackaged with a new ribbon.

We will be watching carefully to make sure that school and college budgets really do rise year by year.

STEVE SINNOTT, GENERAL SECRETARY, NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS

The Chancellor is to be congratulated. He has taken a significant step to achieving his target of raising levels of spending in state schools to those of private schools.

The one-third increase in capital spending for next year on schools recognises that the current improvements in buildings and equipment must be sustained.

The provision of free books to every primary age child and the additional funding direct to schools to be spent as they feel appropriate will benefit every child in the country.

SALLY HUNT, GENERAL SECRETARY, UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE UNION

We welcome the news that there will be serious investment in schools to modernise and build infrastructure and that 60m a year will be directed towards applied research.

However we need a new generation of scientists to continue the UK's proud research record.

In the past decade we have seen a 10% cut in science degrees at our universities.

JEAN GROSS, DIRECTOR, EVERY CHILD A READER

We are delighted that the government has decided to roll out the Every Child A Reader programme nationally.

This will make a huge difference to the lives of children who struggle to learn to read - especially those who live in poverty.

ASHLEY RILEY, ACTION FOR SCHOOL MEALS

If just some of the 200 per pupil Gordon Brown announced was used by schools for improved school meals or teaching on healthy eating, we would see a major improvement in educational attainment.

MICK BROOKES, GENERAL SECRETARY, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF HEAD TEACHERS

Whilst we do welcome the vision for the future, there is a real danger that the government is celebrating a triumph of form over function.

Children in our schools cannot wait 15 years for a new building if the resources are not available now to maintain the essential basics for providing a world-class education.

CHRIS KEATES, GENERAL SECRETARY, NASUWT TEACHING UNION

Whilst refurbishment and rebuild are crucial, the Chancellor must ensure that future funding addresses the need for teachers and head teachers to receive salary levels in the forthcoming pay round which recruit, retain and motivate.

The significant improvements in pay levels achieved in recent years must be enhanced not eroded.

DIANA WARWICK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, UNIVERSITIES UK

Clearly the Government has listened to the concerns raised by the sector.

A wide basket of metrics alongside light touch peer review should lighten the bureaucratic burden but maintain the focus on quality and the confidence of the sector in the process.

We also welcome the importance the Government is placing on research links with business.

JOHN WALKER, CHAIRMAN, FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

Our members constantly tell us that school-leavers do not have the required literacy and numeracy skills to allow them to contribute to the business from their first day at work.

Businesses will do their bit in training their employees but the foundations must be laid at school.

The government is failing its exams on that subject.

RICHARD LAMBERT, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CBI

Further investment in the education system is welcome.

We want urgent implementation of Lord Leitch's recommendations for raising standards across all age groups and at all skill levels, and putting employers' needs at the heart of the system.

But business can only deliver its part of the skills bargain if the government puts the right systems in place to support them.


SEE ALSO
Chancellor gives books to pupils
06 Dec 06 |  Education

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific