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Hear this on capital expenditure

Your article about Manningtree School in Essex (TES, June 30) cited a claim by the head and governors that "pleas to the county council for capital projects are falling on deaf ears".

During the last two years, Essex County Council has committed Pounds 100, 000 on capital improvement projects at the school. This is a relatively large sum in the context of a total borrowing approval for the whole county, under the ImprovementReplacement heading, of just Pounds 1 million in the last two years.

In addition, Pounds 50,000 of maintenance work has been undertaken. In the current financial year, the school has also received a capital grant of some Pounds 35,000. We have also commissioned a development plan study for the school with the initial aim of replacing HORSA accommodation as part of an overall programme with the county. However, in line with the policy of the education committee, these have been frozen pending the outcome of the grant- maintained ballot. Should the vote be against GM, the money will be reinstated.

Finally, there is no guarantee that if the school becomes grant-maintained it will receive further capital funding. In the current year, nationally, fewer than 15 per cent of bids from GM schools for a capital allocation were successful.

PAUL LINCOLN Director of education Essex County Council

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