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Do not bury reserves, praise them

Your front-page story of February 3 refers to the large reserves held by many grant-maintained schools.

The schools holding reserves seem to be criticised whereas I feel they should be congratulated on their management of public funds.

None of these schools has received extra money under local management of schools or GM status but have satisfactorily managed funds where, in the past, local education authorities have found it difficult to maintain budgets within the schools. By skilful control of finance, heads and governors are not only creating reserves - which is sound business practice - but also maintaining their schools at higher levels than before.

Our underspend of some Pounds 100,000 is earmarked for a building project of more than Pounds 125,000 to provide another classroom. We are proud of the way we have managed this school under LMS, where most of our reserves were accumulated, and in the past year under GMS.

It is a shame that all these positive elements are seen negatively by the press. It is also a great shame that this Government seems unable to get the message across that many of its reforms, particularly in education, are of a positive nature and many schools are in a better position than they have ever been. Scare stories seem to make good reading but it is time that the successes, of which there are many, are reported in the columns of your newspaper.

D W DOREY

Headmaster

Selsdon Primary School

Abingdon Road

South Croydon, Surrey

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