Robbing poor to pay the poor

24th July 1998 at 01:00
THE article "A call for fairer funding" (TES, July 10) gives a very inaccurate picture of why schools in Greater London and many other metropolitan areas receive more funding per child that do schools in Northumberland.

Schools in Greater London receive more money because the additional education needs funding formula grants extra funding to local authorities with large numbers of children from lone parent families, families on benefits and those from minority ethnic communities.

The Department for Education and Employment proposes to remove some or all of the "ethnicity" factor from the additional education needs formula.

The effect on education budgets in LEAs such as Ealing, Brent and Newham will be enormous, as they will be faced with cuts of up to 10 per cent.

While this money will be allocated to schools in LEAs such as Northumberland, this is hardly fairer funding.

Rather it is robbing the poor to pay the poor, and should be opposed.

Jill Rutter National education adviser Refugee Council Broadway, London SW8

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