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Concern over quality of lottery applications

Education and training institutions in England have been awarded Pounds 18.7 million in National Lottery grants for music, dance, drama and visual arts projects in the past 18 months, figures from the Arts Council reveal.

The exact total (Pounds 18,781,933) is made up of 66 separate Arts Council grants to primary, secondary and special schools, further education colleges and universities.

Two-thirds of the grants are worth Pounds 50,000 or less, but the six largest awards - headed by Pounds 2.9m for Dormston School in the West Midlands (see above) - account for almost half the total (Pounds 9m).

There have been 35 grants to individual schools, totalling Pounds 6.9m. The Arts Council is assessing a further 74 educational applications worth Pounds 28.5m.

Exact details on the proportion of bids being turned down are unavailable, but Arts Council lottery staff have expressed concern at the poor quality of some of the unsuccessful school applications.

Lottery officer Shreela Ghosh said some schools were submitting reams of extraneous information with their applications but omitting the key facts and figures needed to satisfy the eight criteria for lottery fund eligibility.

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