Shires lose out in urban obsession

5th December 2003 at 00:00
Urban schools have had considerably better treatment financially since this Government came to power. Area cost adjustments, a massively increased Standards Fund, action zones and Excellence in Cities have seen to this. We also have the obscene misuse of public money called the Leadership Incentive Grant where schools in inner cities get extra money regardless of their circumstances.

Surely a more logical conclusion to reach is that throwing money at problems does not work?

I am not in any way diminishing the problems of schools in deprived areas but there are massive inequities in the current system of funding that need to be addressed.

Why is it, for example, that each student in my school is still worth some pound;400 per year less than a student in Hertfordshire when more than 80 per cent of costs are salaries which are set nationally?

The reality of urban under-achievement is that it cannot be tackled by school budgets but only by addressing the social conditions that create the culture of under-achievement.

I am certain we will miss out again on any additional funding because under this Government those that have much will have yet more, while those with little will have even that taken away.

Kevin O'Regan Headteacher Wolverley high school Blakeshall Lane Wolverley, Worcester

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