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Opt-out group hopes to survive

The Grant Maintained Standing Advisory Committee, which has lost most of its annual grant from the Department for Education and Employment, is expected to carry on by charging its members, writes Frances Rafferty.

Pauline Latham, GMSAC's chairman, said she had received many messages of support from her members and expected today's meeting to vote to carry on. The DFEE has given GMSAC, and three other GM groups, Pounds 15,000 to allow them to take part in the consultation preceding the abolition of opted-out status. GMSAC would have been due Pounds 60,000 of its Pounds 100,000 grant.

One proposal is to charge 10p per child on the school's roll. Paul Howson, head of Great Marlow school, Bucks, said: "We had a meeting of GM schools in the area and decided we would not take the attack on us lying down. We must act to ensure that all that is good in GM schools is allowed to remain. I would certainly pay a subscription to make sure GMSAC is representing our case. "

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