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LGA CLAIMS EXTRA£20M AVAILABLE FOR CLASS SIZES

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The Local Government Association says it has found a£20m surplus which could speed up government plans to cut clas...
The Local Government Association says it has found a£20m surplus which could speed up government plans to cut class sizes, reports the Financial Times (p6).

LGA education chairman Graham Lane will meet ministers this week to present his findings. He said substantial funds set aside for the assisted places scheme had not been spent.

Former chancellor Kenneth Clarke announced a£23m funding boost for the assisted places scheme in 1997-98. If the extra funds could be made available, as Mr Lane claims, the government could help schools reduce class sizes from September.

The paper reports that government plans are to phase out assisted places over seven years, redirecting savings into reducing junior class sizes. It did not expect to recoup funds from the move until April next year.

Independent schools have conceded that Mr Lane could be right, with the funding boost for the assisted places scheme dependent on the Tories' education bill.
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