Change in way schools funded

20th February 1998 at 00:00
* A change in the way schools are funded could benefit experienced and "expensive" staff who say their higher salaries make it hard for them to change jobs.

Since local management was introduced schools have been paid the average rather than actual staff costs. This has given them the incentive to take on less-experienced and lower paid staff to keep down costs. The Government has said that from April local authorities can allocate budgets based on actual salary costs.

Stephen Byers, school standards minister, said consultation was taking place, and he expected local authorities to make the change.

Stephen Dorrell, the Tory education spokesman, said: "Schools in relatively stable, attractive areas would attract resources because that is where teachers prefer to stay. The schools with difficult children will be given fewer resources because their teacher force turns over much more quickly.

"That would be a perverse consequence of focusing on the actual, as opposed to average, teacher cost rather than the needs of the pupils."

David Hart, NAHT general secretary, said while many of his members would welcome the change, many after 10 years of local management had made appropriate adjustments. Lancashire heads are expected to agree to such a change.

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