Legacy of opt-out decade;Letter

7th May 1999 at 01:00
FOLLOWING your assessment of the grant-maintained sector (TES, April 23), I would like to say a brief word in recognition of the courage and enterprise of the parents, governors and staff who took their schools into uncharted waters and accepted greater responsibility for the successful leadership, management and development for the benefit of their pupils.

Undoubtedly the GM experience has had an effect on the new schools framework. The most appropriate overview we can all now make is an assessment of how it can benefit children's education in schools of whatever category.

The vast majority of GM governors and headteachers will, with absolute conviction, testify that they were able to extract the very best value from the spending they controlled. As far as capital funding is concerned, GM schools have also had to raise additional contributions under the Funding Agency for Schools seed challenge funding schemes. Schools have generated an additional pound;158.36 million on top of the agency's grant funding of pound;49m.

That, by and large, governors and headteachers of GM schools of every size and pupil-base have taken on extra responsibility and achieved more successful outcomes with it should give assurance to other schools that the new framework gives them similar opportunities LEAs should be confident in encouraging schools to embrace.

Sir Anthony Tippet

Chairman

Funding Agency for Schools

Albion Wharf

25 Skeldergate, York

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