Filthy lucre scarce

MONEY is the root of most evil in primary schools, according to a survey of primary heads by the National Foundation for Educational Research.

The latest survey shows that when asked to indicate their main concerns, as usual most (61 per cent) selected "budgets".

Curriculum change (chosen by 46 per cent) was the next largest choice, though both were less of a concern than the previous year.

"Inspection" was selected by less than a third (32 per cent). This has been a steady but minority concern in all the surveys, perhaps reflecting the fact that it only affects individual heads once every few years. Buildings are an increasing concern to 30 per cent of heads. But staffing was mentione by only 29 per cent compared with 45 per cent in 1996.

Asked how they would spend an extra 5 per cent on their budget, most (74 per cent) opted for additional classroom assistants - an increase on the 59 per cent who chose this in 1996.

Whereas 80 per cent said they would spend on teachers in 1995, only 68 per cent would now.

They are more likely to spend it on premises or furniture (32 per cent) and equipment including computers (31 per cent) than library books (down to 10 per cent from 35 per cent in 1999).

NFER Annual Survey of Trends in Education, Spring 2000, available from The Communications Unit, NFER, The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, SL1 2DQ telephone 01753 574123

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