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Plea for pound;11.5bn

LOCAL GOVERNMENT representatives say they need an extra pound;11.5 billion over the next three years to maintain education provision and raise standards.

The claim - which includes extending nursery education to three-year-olds and reduced class sizes for junior as well as infant pupils - precedes next month's announcement of Labour's first major spending review.

Local authority members of the Service Working Group (Education), a joint Government discussion group, say the pound;11.5bn divides up as pound;4.3bn for capital works - including repairs and additional classrooms for infants - and pound;7.2bn revenue expenditure.

This includes an extra pound;110 million to restore past cuts in discretionary student awards, adult education and youth services; pound;403m to tackle increases in pupil numbers; and pound;110m for special educational needs.

One of the biggest single bids is for pound;900m to fund local authority support for IT and curriculum initiatives, including the National Grid for Learning.

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