Money pours in to raise standards

1st December 2000 at 00:00
David Blunkett is to spend an extra pound;150 a year on each pupil to improve results. Clare Dean reports.

SCHOOLS in England are to get an extra pound;150 per pupil, on average, next year to raise standards, Education Secretary David Blunkett announced this week.

Heads in a 250-pupil primary school will get pound;20,000 from central government - up from pound;9,000 this year. In a 900-pupil secondary, the amount will rise pound;20,000 to pound;60,000.

There will also be an extra pound;10,000 for a typical primary school from the Standards Fund, taking the total to pound;55,000 next year and a further pound;30,000 for typical secondaries, rising to pound;170,000.

This means that next year primary schools will receive pound;75,000 for raising standards - an increase of pound;21,000 - while secondaries will get pound;230,000, up pound;50,000.

Councils, meanwhile, are to receive more than pound;1 billion extra in their education standards spending assessment - the Government's view of what should be spent on the service.

Mr Blunkett set them a target of 5 per cent for the inrease in funding per pupil and told

councils he expects all local authorities to delegate at least 87 per cent of their budgets by 2002-3.

The Audit Commission, the official public-spending watchdog, last week urged the Government to think again about passing more money directly to schools.

The increases come from three main sources:

more than pound;1bn in standard spending assessments - a 4.8 per cent increase on this year;

a further pound;250m in direct grants to schools, giving a typical primary pound;20,000 and a typical secondary pound;60,000;

a pound;600m rise in the Standards Fund from pound;1.7bn to pound;2.3bn to support literacy and numeracy, class sizes and tackling truancy.

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said schools welcomed the direct grants with open arms: "It is 100 per cent ring-fenced and comes with no strings attached.

"But I will be very surprised if the money that is supposed to be passed to schools (by councils) actually reaches school budgets."

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