Have you noticed?

21st March 2003 at 00:00
Why are children in Leicestershire primary schools worth pound;400 less than the average primary child?

After months of strenuous campaigning as part of the F40 group of worst-funded local education authorities, we find ourselves with an increase this year that will not even cover inflation and extra national insurance costs. We are now firmly at the bottom of the funding list.

When a delegation of councillors and heads met ministers to discuss our plight, they were told "someone has to be bottom". I notice that they do not take that relaxed attitude to performance league tables. At least we can do our bit for the recruitment crisis - redundancies are inevitable as we all struggle to balance next year's budgets.

We are duly grateful for capital grants to improve our buildings and National Grid for Learning funds to buy computers, but we resent having to fundraise for such luxuries as books and pencils.

I hear that the Department for Education and Skills has decided not to risk sending a minister to the National Union of Teachers' Easter conference. I should strongly advise them to stay out of Leicestershire too. If the county governors join forces with the equally disenchanted Quorn hunt, we might just set the dogs on them.

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