Council to top up minority grant;Letter

28th May 1999 at 01:00
THE ARTICLE on the ethnic minority achievement grant seriously misrepresents Waltham Forest's position (TES, May 14).

The grant from the Department for Education and Employment for Waltham Forest for 1999-2000 is pound;2,054,000, funded on a 65 per cent to 35 per cent basis.

Waltham Forest has chosen to top this up from its own resources by an additional pound;896,000, giving a total expenditure of pound;2.9 million. We are therefore spending far more than the DFEE suggests we should. Ron Haycock of Waltham Forest Teachers' Association is clearly quite wrong in saying that the grant is pound;2.9m.

In according such high priority to raising the achievement of ethnic-minority pupils, Waltham Forest wishes to ensure that schools give full value for money. Consequently we will be spending a further pound;290,000 to establish a team of three advisory teachers and three advisers to support schools and monitor action plans.

We really do intend to ensure that the grant makes a difference in ways which the Section 11 scheme, however good, failed to do. This can only be done by devolving resources to schools and working with them to ensure maximum benefit to pupils.

The amount being devolved to schools is pound;2.6m which is actually greater than the entire achievement grant.

Andrew Lockhart, Chief education officer, Waltham Forest

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