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No hostility to returnees in Essex;Letter

THE front-page report (TES, April 23) claims that Essex is one of the 23 authorities highlighted by the Funding Agency for Schools on behalf of GM heads as being "either hostile to them or not delegating cash" We have been assured by the FAS that it is still working on its report, which has not yet been submitted to Government and which will not contain the comments identified.

The reports suggest that Essex is to spend pound;890,000 on an additional 40 staff to "service the GM sector" This is totally misleading. We are making additional provision this year of pound;897,000 to increase LEA staffing and capacity to deliver a whole range of changing responsibilities.

It takes account of the 27 per cent increase in the number of maintained schools as GMs return to the LEA sector. However, it also includes a significant range of other requirements.

The TES report creates the impression that Essex is one of a number of LEAs that are not delegating the appropriate level of cash to schools. For 19992000 we have retained less than we did in 199899.

Paul Lincoln

Essex County Council, Chelmsford

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