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Education Secretary David Blunkett
"I certainly won't be using the term loadsamoney"
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Monday, 17 July, 2000, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Blunkett rejects 'loadsamoney' tag
David Blunkett
David Blunkett promises substantial investment for schools
The Education Secretary David Blunkett says that the public spending review will provide "sustainable investment" rather than budget "bonanzas" for schools.

Secondary schools have been forecast to receive a multi-billion windfall in the government's Comprehensive Spending Review to be announced on Tuesday.

But Mr Blunkett has poured cold water on figures such as 200 and 500 extra per pupil, saying that the government was committed to long-term "year-on-year improvements".

Questioned on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on whether he would be adopting a pre-election "loadsamoney" stance, Mr Blunkett said that there would be "substantial investment" but "loadsamoney will not be a term I'll be using".

Targeted spending

Despite his emphasis that there would be a consistent pattern of investment, rather than short-term budget increases, Mr Blunkett predicted that the spending boost for schools would represent the "most sustained investment ... in living memory".

The comprehensive spending review, to be presented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, will establish the government's funding plans for the next three years.

It has been widely anticipated that education will be a major beneficiary of any increase in public spending - with predictions that secondary schools will be targeted for extra funding.

In the early years of the government's education programme, much emphasis was placed on improving standards in primary schools - with initiatives such as cutting infant class sizes and the literacy hour and daily maths lesson.

By-passing local authorities

Secondary schools, particularly those in deprived inner city areas, are expected to be the focus of standards-raising projects, with the expectation that extra funding will be linked to measurable improvements in exam and test results.

Attention might also be paid to the means by which extra money is channelled to schools - with speculation that a proportion of funding will by-pass local education authorities and be directed straight to head teachers.

If this is the case, it will strengthen the claims that the government is seeking to erode or realign the role of local authorities in school funding.

A precedent for this was set in part in this year's Budget statement - but comprehensive government proposals on the future of the funding system are not expeted until the autumn.

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Education asks for more
12 Jul 00 | Education
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Direct funding for schools
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