'Divide cash by locality'

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
New money under the RAISE programme targeted at disadvantaged children should be distributed according to the numbers eligible for free school meals in an area, say governors.

The Assembly's programme is providing pound;16 million in more than 600 schools across Wales. But the current formula, where individual schools with 20 per cent or more pupils qualifying for FSMs are eligible for extra cash, was described by Vale of Glamorgan's Dafydd Treharne as "crude and unfair".

"This is particularly so in view of the 'deprivation factor' already applied in the calculation of education budgets," he said.

Meanwhile, delegates were told a "deplorable lack of clarity" surrounds the impact of the Gershon review of public sector efficiency on budgets.

Peter Griffin, Governors Wales honorary life president, said: "I don't think education can be exempt from the 1 per cent efficiency saving. But if you do exempt education, then every other service in the local authority is down by 3 to 4 per cent."

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