'The freezer is bare'

8th October 2004 at 01:00
Trafford primaries are the second worst-funded in the country, the NAHT figures suggest. They receive pound;2,174 per pupil, pound;239 per pupil less than average. Only Lincolnshire primaries get less.

Jenny Dunn, head of Seymour Park primary, said: "Primaries in Trafford have been less well-funded because we are a selective authority with grammar schools, which cost more to run. Also, they won't put up the council tax.

"Last year, with the increases in national insurance and so on, we ate up all our resources. It is like finishing everything in the freezer and we are down to the nasty fish fingers you find hidden away at the bottom."

Miss Dunn, a teacher for 40 years and head since 1977, said that if she was in Salford she would have an extra pound;80,000. She said: "The secondaries do get better funded and there is envy but I absolutely do not want to see them lose funding."

The NAHT figures appear to show that at pound;3,426 per pupil, Trafford secondaries are well funded, pound;244 above average. But heads say the mean figure hides a disparity between community and grammar schools.

Michael Thompson, head of St Ambrose college, a Catholic boys' grammar in Altrincham, said: "We only get pound;2,402 per pupil. If we had the same as some secondary schools here we'd have pound;871,601 more annually.

"The 11-16 schools get a significant amount for curriculum development which the 11-18 grammars, do not. If you want to be cynical, it's a way to penalise the grammar schools.

"Also the LEA does not pass on the full Learning and Skills Council funds for the sixth form, although it should. Our funding is woefully inadequate and has got worse."

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