Where has all the money gone?

28th March 2003 at 00:00
TONY Neal, head of De Aston school, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, is far from being the worst-hit by the funding crisis.

His school is a mere pound;120,000 off the pound;3.5 million it needed to achieve a standstill budget. Colleagues in other areas have found themselves more than pound;500,000 short.

Nevertheless last year's SHA president already knows that to get his school out of its financial mess it will have to lose the equivalent of five full-time teachers.

"The only way we can tackle it is through staff cuts," he said. "In practice we are now looking at areas of the curriculum where we can make reductions and do the least harm.

"We feel frustrated in Lincolnshire because for three years in succession we have been in a position where we have been told that additional money was going into schools and there appeared to be real-term increases. But yet again when you do the calculations on the ground you are looking at a real-term reduction."

Mr Neal estimates that his staff costs have risen by 7.5 per cent this year due to to increases in pay and pension and national insurance contributions. "The Government has put in pound;350m extra into education above inflation into education and the question we are all asking is: where has it gone?" he said.

He said he intended to do all he could to implement the terms of the workload agreement, but the lack of money would make it more difficult.

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