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Bigger schools have harder life

At first sight the Government's financial settlement in Oxfordshire for education spending looked generous. However, the allocation of money to schools from the education authority gives at best a standstill budget when salary increases and inflation are taken into account, particularly in the larger primaries in the county.

The government's direct grant to schools and the standards funding allocated to authorities for distribution with schools' basic budgets have been increased by a generous amount this year. But the criteria for distribution can hardly be called fair.

The system discriminates against larger schools: the funds for smaller schools give a value per child up to five times greater than for the county's largest primaries.

If the children in Oxfordshire's largest primary school were to be funded on the same basis as the average pupil in the smaller schools, the school would see its budget rise by over pound;120,000.

Is this "Fair Funding"? It would be interesting to learn whether other shire counties face similar problems.

Clive Hallett

Wheatley primary, Oxfordshire

and 11 other Oxfordshire headteachers

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