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'LINCOLNSHIRE FULLY PASSPORTS FUNDING FROM GOVERNMENT TO SCHOOLS - ALL TARGETS ARE MET'

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Lincolnshire CC strongly refuted ...
Lincolnshire CC strongly refuted suggestions from the National Association of Headteachers that it is under-funding primary schools in the county.

Maureen Spencer-Gregson, the county council's executive member for education and special education needs, said: 'The Primary Schools' Formula Spending Share (SFSS) was brought in by the government two years ago to ensure that schools did not face a shortfall in their funding and all LEAs passed on the full amount allocated to them. Lincolnshire CC has always passported the full SFSS funding to its schools.

'As an additional measure to prevent any school funding crisis happening again, the government introduced a policy that all schools should be guaranteed a 4% increase in per-pupil funding for 2004/05. Once again Lincolnshire has met this target. The target for 2005/06 is 5% for nursery and primary schools and 4% for secondary and special schools which we will meet.

'As well as passing on these required funding allocations, in May 2003 Lincolnshire also put in an extra£2.5m to fund the schools budget over and above the county council's target.

'Although Lincolnshire LEA meets its passporting targets and SFSS funding to schools, the authority as a whole suffers from serious government under-funding. Lincolnshire has a below-average government grant:

-Local authorities in Lincolnshire receive much less government grant support than local authorities in England generally

-19% below the average per head of population

-£104 per person below the average

-£68 million less than other authorities

'This has necessitated Lincolnshire county council's recent 'Missing Millions' campaign to try and get the funding it is entitled to for all the services it provides.

'These claims of the under-funding of our schools by the National Association of Head Teachers is wildly misplaced. Clearly we are passporting the correct amount of money and funding the necessary SFSS increases to our schools. Indeed, we have been putting a substantial amount of additional cash, over and above government requirements, despite a continuing under-funding of the county council budget by the government.'

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