Councils are generous to schools

13th January 2006 at 00:00
Your article on school spending, based on comments from the National Association of Head Teachers, gives a very misleading picture of council funding of schools ("The councils who rob you of funds", TES, January 6).

In fact, in 200506 local authorities spent pound;200 million over the Government-recommended level of school spending.

While 88 authorities exceeded government suggestions in their schools spending, that some councils "underspent" by a few percentage points does not necessarily harm education standards in those areas.

Wandsworth council, one of the authorities accused of "robbing" schools in your article, achieved record GCSE results while spending 93 per cent of the Government recommended amount.

Many other authorities that have historically "underspent" on their schools, such as Brent, have passed on funding increases to schools for many years.

Overall schools have done much better than other local authority children's services, with an increase of 6.4 per cent compared with 2.7 per cent for non-schools services.

And the Direct Schools Grant formula for 2006 to 2008 makes ample allowance for any "underspending" made by a minority of authorities this year to ensure that schools continue to get the cash they need.

Alison King Chair of the Local Government Association children and young people board Local Government House Smith Square, London SW1

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