Increases fail to fund reforms

7th January 2005 at 00:00
In his letter Graham Lane states that "The Government is allocating an extra 5 per cent per primary pupil in real terms to pay for this major reform" (TES, December 17). The minimum funding guarantee of 5 per cent does not do this. That funding must cover incremental drift, staff pay awards, increasing fuel costs, local government pension increases etc. It is estimated that this will use 4 per cent of the real- terms increase, leaving 1 per cent for planning, preparation and assessment time. It is possible that some authorities will be able to fund more than the 5 per cent.

In South Gloucestershire we expect between 1 and 2 per cent to be available to fund PPA. This will not cover the cost of 10 per cent non-contact time for teachers in my school. As the colleagues from Tunbridge Wells Network learning community noted (TES, December 10) the only way to find that funding shortfall is to cut the funding of another area of the budget; for example, resources, training or leadership and management time.

Workload reforms can be made to work but the cost of their implementation should be funded or the result will be larger classes, poorly equipped classrooms and eventually a fall in the quality of learning. This cannot support the raising of standards.

Jon Barr. Headteacher. The Meadows primary school. Bitton. South Gloucestershire

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