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What does best value mean?

Schools minister David Milliband was quick to defend payments made by academies to businesses associated with their sponsors as "related to specific tasks undertaken in support of project development" which secured "the best value for money for taxpayers" (TES, Letters, August 20). Perhaps he or someone from King's Academy, Middlesbrough, could explain the academy's payment of pound;14,039 to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (TES, August 13).

What "project" was this very large payment for and how did it represent "best value for the taxpayer"? And how exactly are schools that take an average of pound;23 million each from the public purse "best value"?

Marilyn Mason, Education officer

British Humanist Association

London WC1

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