Pounds 110m 'diverted' away from schools

EDUCATION authorities were this week accused of diverting Pounds 110 million away from schools.

A league table of 150 local authorities drawn up by the National Governors' Council reveals 48 are spending less on education than the Government believes necessary.

It shows that the aggregate amount below the education standard spending assessment - ministers' calculation of what needs to be spent - is Pounds 110m for the current financial year.

Bottom of the table was Slough, spending 8.1 per cent under, followed by Blackpool (-7.1 per cent), Middlesbrough (-6.5 per cent), Telford and Wrekin (-5.9 per cent) and Nottingham (-5.2 per cent).

Top of the table, unsurprisingly, was the Corporation of London, which has just one school, spending 223 per cent above the Government's estimate.

It was followed by Kensington and Chelsea (32.5 per cent over), Westminster (16.8 per cent), Newcastle-upon-Tyne (16.1 per cent) and Bristol (12.7 per cent).

The table was compiled on the basis of local authority returns on spending. It has been released to the NGC's member associations and sent to every authority.

Jack Morrish, from the NGC , said: "Two years ago there were only about six local authorities spending below education standard spending assessment.

"The latest data are a further indication that a significant proportion of the Pounds 1.1bn extra for education via local authorities in 199899 has been siphoned off at a local level."

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