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Pathetic 'boost' for Section 11

It is unfortunate that you reported an additional Pounds 30 million of Section 11 money for the next two financial years as a "boost" (TES, March 17).

The Home Office has been drastically reducing Section 11 funds: (1993-94: Pounds 130m; 1994-95: Pounds 110.7m; 1995-96: Pounds 58.8m). It previously intended to contribute only Pounds 43.8m for 1995-96. The additional Pounds 15m for 1995-96 and 1996-97 is the Home Office's pathetic response to intense pressure from community organisations, teacher unions and local authorities.

The Home Office announced this weak injection of funds only at the end of February after many staff will have been issued with redundancy notices. Even with this "boost" many pupils' access to the full curriculum will be restricted.

DAVE PACKHAM

2 Barway Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Manchester.

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