Central funds plea

8th December 2000 at 00:00
HEADS this week criticised the Government's Green Paper on the future of local government funding for not going far enough and called for schools to be funded directly from central government.

The National Association of Headteachers and the Secondary Heads Association said that the national approach to raising standards in schools should be matched by a funding framework.

And the unions claimed ring-fencing the whole of school spending was the only way to guarantee that they received all the cash intended for them.

But the Green Paper, published in September, said ring-fencing was an option unlikely to be pursued unless cuncils fail to hand more cash over to schools.

Instead the Government promised more cash for the worst-off schools and a simpler formula.

John Dunford, general secretary of the SHA, said: "If the Government's top priority remains education then it must ensure that schools are adequately funded."

David Hart, general secretary of the NAHT, said: "The Government recognises that the current system is flawed. Hence the Chancellor's decision to bypass local authorities and guarantee schools some pound;2.4 billion over four years.

"But we need a direct, ring-fenced national system to give heads the funds they require."

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