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LOCAL AUTHORITY EDUCATION FUNDING INCREASES BY 10%

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Jane Davidson, minister for education and lifelong learning, today confirmed that local authorities have increased ...
Jane Davidson, minister for education and lifelong learning, today confirmed that local authorities have increased their education budgets for 2001-02 by almost£91m and delegated schools budgets by almost£70m.
Publishing her analysis of local authorities' budgets for education for 2001-02 Ms Davidson said: 'This is good news for education and schools and shows that authorities share the priority the assembly has set for education and the improvement of standards. It is an excellent example of partnership in action. This represents a 6% increase for education compared with local authority budgets for 2000-01.
'The analysis demonstrates that authorities' decisions on budgets have again been fully tracked and that there is no funding fog.
'I am pleased that the proportion of the education budget attributable to central administration services has remained the same as last year at 1.7%. This belies the suggestion that authorities are inappropriately withholding funds from schools.'
In addition to the resources reaching education and schools via the local government revenue settlement, the assembly has provided a further£41m in grants.£26m of this was allocated in April to assist reductions in junior class sizes, help improvements in attainment levels at Key Stage 3, help underperforming schools and to reflect the higher than expected teachers' pay award.£15m was allocated in May through local education authorities and went directly into schools' delegated budgets.
Ms Davidson added: 'The resources provided by authorities through the local government revenue settlement and the funding provided direct by the assembly mean that there is an increase of£137m for local authority education services compared with the position at the beginning of 2000-01 - an increase of 10%. This is excellent news.
'I hope that now schools are able to see the full extent of their budgets the concerns which they expressed in the spring about redundancies and retrenchment have disappeared; and that they have more confidence for the future in the partnership between the national assembly and local government'.
The report on the budgets set by local authorities for education services in 2001-02 can be found on the assembly's website. The document can be found under the asembly committee's section - education and lifelong learning committee meeting of 11 July paper ELL 13-01 (p2) or click here.
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