Have you noticed?;Briefing;Governors

28th May 1999 at 01:00
Where has all the extra money for education gone and why hasn't my school got any? I persuaded the governors to spend all our budget allocation and carry-forward last financial year on the strength of the promised rise in education spending. So now we are flat broke, this year's pay rise is not fully funded and we are suffering from incremental drift - the process by which cheap, enthusiastic, newly-qualified teachers turn into cynical, depressed, expensive ones.

My county has the lowest standard spending assessment for education in the country. The county council does its best, but there is a limit to how hard other services can be squeezed. A funding review showed a gap of about pound;500 per primary-aged child between what the local authority acknowledged we need and what we actually get. It is pledged to use any new money to bridge that gap - but that all seems to be going into shiny new government initiatives rather than schools' budgets. For us this means one less teacher and classes of 35.

My husband's school is overspent, too. Any chance of early retirement? Not unless you are a teacher of Greek who has been ill for a very long time, he was told.

Can't win, can we?

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