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ASSOCIATIONS ASK HOW EXTRA ASSISTED PLACES WILL BE FUNDED

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Following the prime minister's announcement on Friday that he intends to double the assisted places scheme, the Ass...
Following the prime minister's announcement on Friday that he intends to double the assisted places scheme, the Association of County Councils and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities have sent an urgent letter to education minister Gillian Shephard demanding to know how the scheme will be funded.

Warning against a further deep division over funding of schools, the two association chairs, Josie Farrington and Jeremy Beecham say they are seeking answers to key financial questions in order to assess the impact of the proposal.

The letter continues:

'The diversion of additional education resources into the assisted places scheme can only mean that there will be less available to address the funding problems that impact on the majority of pupils who are educated in maintained schools.

'Parental worries about rising class sizes will not be resolved by helping a tiny minority to benefit from the privilege of smaller classes in the private sector.

'Whatever the merits of the assisted places scheme, all children need fair and equal access to resources.'

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