Councils are not siphoning off cash

27th November 1998 at 00:00
THE National Governors' Council has again failed to realise that the standard spending assessment is not a grant and never has been ("Pounds 110 million 'diverted' away from schools", TES, November 6). Even some ministers fail to realise that fact.

For years most local authorities spent considerably above SSA and if now some are below this is because other finance may be devolved to schools rather than delegated. Specific grant is not part of the SSA and therefore would not show up in their survey. Schools under this Government receive money via this route especially over repairs and class size reduction money.

Almost all local education authorities passported the extra Pounds 890 million to school budgets this year but some of that money was used to fund the special needs element.

Inaccurate statements do not help people to realise that this government has funded education higher than the last one and LEAs have successfully given that money to schools.

No money is being siphoned off and the National Governors' Council should stop misleading people. They clearly do not understand the intrinsics of local government finance but they are not alone in this.

Graham Lane Chair of education committee Newham Council, London E13

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