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Budget 'highlights gap'

The announcement of pound;200 million to ensure all struggling schools achieve at least 30 per cent five A*-C GCSEs only serves as a reminder of the ever-widening funding gap between schools in Wales and England, it was claimed on Wednesday.

Brian Lightman, president of the Association of School and College Leaders and head of St Cyres School in Penarth, said "consequential" funding from this week's budget was a golden opportunity for the Assembly government to address Welsh education funding.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said the fund aimed to help schools achieve the GCSE target by 2011,

He also announced a new science and technology scheme, which will include a pound;6m communications campaign on careers guidance for pupils, and pound;30m to boost the teaching of science.

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