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Specialist success shows funding gap

I WELCOME this year's record GCSE results and the improvement in deprived areas that was highlighted by this year's performance tables (TES, November 17).

Specialist schools and those in Excellence in Cities areas also de-serve congratulations. Their good results are proof that specific plans with extra funding, targets and monitoring can raise standards.

But let me also congratulate the comprehensives that achieved re-cord results yet seem to have been overlooked in the round of praise.

These schools have worked just as hard as specialist schools to raise standards without the benefit of targeted cash or extraattention.

Instead, these schools have relied on the talents of their staff to meet the needs of pupils. The success of targeted funding and monitoring in raising standards adds weight to the Local Government Association's argument that a national funding formula fails to take into account the specific and varied needs of each school. Every school is unique and needs an individual package of targets and cash negotiated between the Government and education authority.

Graham Lane

Local Government Association

Education executive chairman

Local Government House

Smith Square

London SW1

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