Have you noticed?

14th April 2000 at 01:00
LET'S hear one-and-a-half muted cheers for the Labour Government.

Thanks to a slight increase in our basic budget, class-size reduction funding and Gordon Brown's Budget hand-out, my school now has enough money this year to fund the teaching staff we need, for the first time since local management of schools was introduced.

So why is my enthusiasm less than whole-hearted?

Firstly, my local education authority is still the worst funded in the country. Primary school elsewhere receive up to pound;1,000 per pupil more than we do.

This would give my school an extra pound;180,000 a year - enough to double our teaching staff, buy very child a lap-tap or gold-plate the toilets.

We have been getting by on a wing and a prayer for such a long time, that we would struggle to spend that much money, but we would willingly try.

My other reservation is about sustainability. Will we win the class-size lottery again next year?

Will Gordon Brown have another uncharacteristic fit of generosity or will cutting taxes be his priority as an election approaches?

We dare only appoint staff on fixed-term contracts which deters good candidates. We have long-term targets for improvement, so how about some long-term commitments on funding too - please?


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