Tories say councils kept cash;Union Conference;NASUWT;National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers

17th April 1998 at 01:00
More than a third of the new cash Labour pledged for school budgets has failed to reach the classroom, Stephen Dorrell, the Tory education spokesman, claimed.

Despite Chancellor Gordon Brown's announcement of an pound;835 million rise in council education allocations, school budgets this year have risen by only pound;539m - with almost pound;300m diverted by local authorities to other services.

Mr Dorrell claimed his party's analysis of authority budgets revealed education spending this year has fallen as a proportion of national spending - despite the Government's promise that it would rise. Labour's claims had always been unrealistic, he said. The Government had no power to direct councils to spend the money on education.

Nigel de Gruchy, NASUWT general secretary, said the figures came as no surprise. "We have had a number of associations around the country calling us . . . to protest about cuts and redundancies."

A spokesman for David Blunkett, the Education Secretary, said schools would not have received a penny more under the Tories - and that the worst offenders in failing to pass the money were Tory-run Essex and Buckinghamshire.

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