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Talking points

What do NAHT conference delegates think of Government suggestions that schools could be directly funded from Whitehall?

Hilda Dickinson, head of Carley Hill primary, Sunderland:

"Sunderland led us to believe we had been funded well. But the council has been named for not passing on all the money. Obviously it is a cloudy issue that needs more clarity and I think central funding could provide it."

Avril Clark, head of Mengham infants, Hayling Island, Hampshire:

"I worry this could put councils under threat. In Hampshire we have a very strong association with our local education authority. I want to spend my time on the curriculum, teaching and learning, and likehaving LEA support."

Linda Crick, head of Icknield infant school, Luton:

"Providing central LEA services do not suffer, it would be much, much neater. If schools were directly funded we might not be suffering these problems. Luton is one of the highest-spending authorities but even so I think we might still do better with a national funding formula."

John Peck, head of Peafield Lane primary, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire:

"There may be some merit in money coming from Whitehall but as far as I can tell Nottinghamshire LEA does pass the money directly on to schools. I do not blame councils for this funding crisis. I lay the blame on the Government which underestimated costs."

Gail Larkin, head of Auriol junior, Epsom, Surrey:

"The current system works well for us. I would not like to see LEAs bypassed. If it did happen I would be concerned about funding for special needs and psychologist support services."

Gillian Mitchell, head of New Silksworth infant school, Sunderland:

"Funding should be done centrally, so long as it was at the highest current LEA level. It would end some of the uncertainty and unfairness because everybody would be funded on the same basis."

Dave Evans, head of Barrowcliff junior, Scarborough:

"What about the LEAs that are actually giving more to schools than the Government requires? In North Yorkshire we have always been well funded by the county. It is the lack of money coming from the centre that is the problem."

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