Fife is rife with pound;1.3m

Poor one moment, rich the next. In August 2000, Fife was facing a financial crisis after a pound;1.8 million overspend in its education budget. But the vagaries of financial planning have now left it with an underspend of pound;1.3 million for the past year.

Officials point out this is still under 1 per cent of the pound;188.9m budget and that unspent cash is being channelled into the current budget. Main reasons for the underspend include difficulties in judging staff numbers in nursery and primary. In contrast, secondary budgets were overspent by pound;592,000, mostly because of increased pupil staying-on rates.

Problems in recruiting educational psychologists also led to an underspend of pound;195,000.

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