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Shephard defends LMS

Education Secretary Gillian Shephard has attacked the doomsday prophets who predicted local management of schools would lead to massive teacher resignations and redundancies. Opponents claimed that LMS would lead to tens of thousands of teacher redundancies, headteachers resigning in droves, and governing bodies left unable to cope, she told the national LMS conference in Norwich.

But Mrs Shephard retorted: "Stuff and nonsense! Delegated budgets are popular with schools, and there have been no suggestions that schools want to return to the previous arrangements."

She praised local education authorities for getting LMS schemes into place, and said heads and governing bodies had done a "remarkable job".

Mrs Shephard pledged that GM schools would continue to receive resources to match their additional responsibilities - either through LMS replication or the Common Funding Formula (CFF) which is being piloted in five authorities.

She added: "It is clear that GM schools in other areas - including primary schools - would also like to see the CFF replace LMS replication at the earliest opportunity.

"I am not going to be rushed into headlong expansion. But those who advocate standing still are going to be disappointed."

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