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Year's grace on funding

THE Executive has postponed by a year full implementation of the Riddell committee's recommendation that Scotland's seven national special schools should no longer be grant-aided by the Government.

Brian Monteith, the Tories' education spokesman, who has been campaigning against the proposal to make the schools dependent on ocal authority funding, welcomed the concession. Mr Monteith had put down a parliamentary motion calling for at least a year's delay to allow schools time to ensure their financial viability.

Ministers have now decided on a longer transitional phase, and the Government's grant will now end in 2003 instead of 2002.

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