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Nest egg

You state that four grant-maintained primary schools have reserves of more than Pounds 100,000 (TES, February 3).

It is unfortunate that your reporters did not seek, in the case of the Cathedral Primary School in Chelmsford, to ascertain the reasons for this.

As a former voluntary-aided school, the Cathedral School brought with it governors' private funds which were and continue to be held in investments to support the work of the school. This money was not "saved" as a result of GMS, as your article implies, but as a result of the sale of property in 1988, long before we achieved GMS (in 1994).

These invested funds are now used to generate income to finance capital projects as determined by the governing body. Indeed, about Pounds 35,000 was used to supplement a Department for Education-financed capital project this year.

While the governing body of the Cathedral School has welcomed the freedoms and responsibilities brought about by GM status, your readers should be under no illusion that GM schools are in any better financial state because of excessive DFE funding.

We still have to pay careful attention to financial management to ensure our DFE grants meet the educational needs of our pupils and apart from our investments referred to earlier, we will commit all our DFE funds this year.

MERVYN G MARSHALL Vice-chairman of governors The Cathedral School Victoria Road Chelmsford Essex.

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