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Failings of a funding formula

THE CRY from David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, for a national funding formula fails to explain how that would give extra money to schools.

It could mean less as local government contributes 25 per cent of the funding and in addition spends pound;600 million more than the Government thinks it should on schools.

Any formula has to be transparent (which it is not at present), fair and be based on different needs of each school. The Local Government Association is discussing ways this could be done including a basic entitlement for a staffing formula for each school.

However, funding all schools at the same rate is a recipefor discriminating against poor areas resulting in making it more difficult to raise standards in such schools.

Funding schools is complex. A national funding system would mean more unfairness and damage democratic accountability. Let's have a sensible discussion on the way to move forward, but no system will be acceptable that fails to bring about smaller classes and more money going into schools, otherwise standards will not rise sufficiently. Having that money spent wisely is the next step.

Graham Lane

Labour group chair

Education and lifelong learning

executive

Local Government Association

110 Humberstone Road, London E13

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