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Arithmetic under question

Labour's arithmetic for phasing out the assisted places scheme to reduce oversize classes has also come under fire from south of the border.

A report from the Institute of Public Finance commissioned by the Independent Schools Joint Council claims the money saved would be at least Pounds 250 million short of what was required over the seven years needed to phase out the scheme.

The report says that eliminating all classes of more than 30 for five to seven-year-olds would cost about Pounds 65 million a year, with an additional estimated Pounds 100 million in capital costs. Savings from phasing out assisted places, however, would amount to only Pounds 49 million a year.

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