Letters extra: Restore trust in state school funding methods

25th April 2003 at 01:00

There is obviously a crisis in state school funding. Teachers from all parts of the country have expressed outrage at the cuts which schools are being forced to make. No one except the Secretary of State has a good word to say about the current system.

How can trust be restored? A per capita sum for each pupil should be awarded directly to schools under a fully transparent national formula. Right-wing think-tanks have suggested that this could boost funding reaching schools by as much as pound;2,000 per pupil. A detailed and impartial enquiry is needed to provide a firm basis for debate. The Independent Schools Council has commissioned such an enquiry from the Institute of Public Finance; the results will be published shortly. They are likely to show no large gap between true spending per pupil in the state sector and the average in the independent sector.

Alistair Cooke,
General Secretary, Independent Schools Council
London SW1

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