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RECORD INCREASE IN WELSH SCHOOL BUDGETS

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The Welsh Local Government Association welcomes the report on education finance to be presented to the national ass...
The Welsh Local Government Association welcomes the report on education finance to be presented to the national assembly's education and lifelong learning committee today** which shows record increases in school budgets.
The association's education spokesman, Cllr Jeff Jones welcomed the huge increase of£129m. He said:
'This increase again shows the absolute commitment of local authorities in Wales to spending on education. The education increase is 3% higher than the average increase in local authority spending. The fact that delegation rates to schools are at 81% means that the money is going to schools, and having a real impact in classrooms.
'The additional funding provided by the Labour government is tackling the effects of years of under-investment, and we are seeing continuing improvements in the results achieved by our children. We have no grounds for complacency, but we have cause for pride in the progress we have made.'
The 'Report on Budgets set by Local Authorities for Education Services in 2001-02' outlines that:
* This year's increase by councils on education spending is the largest ever, at 10%, more than three times the rate of inflation.
* The gap in spending between authorities is much lower than in England. The cost of providing education in small schools, and of transport, inevitably means that costs will be higher in rural areas.
* Spending on administration by councils is only 1.7%. This is evidence of high levels of efficiency when compared to lottery distributors, for example, who are closer to 10%.
* Delegation to schools remains at 81%, showing that new money is going to schools. Non delegated items include the cost of transport and non-delegated special education.
* Average spending in Wales is higher than that in all non-metropolitan areas of England.
* Expenditure on Education in Wales has risen at a comparable rate to England, Wales has not been lagging behind. In Wales, more of the increase is in basic budgets. In England, more comes as special grant. When you add increases in basic budgets and special grant together, the totals are comparable, but Welsh schools have less bureaucracy to deal with as they do not have to apply for as many grants but get more of their money directly from the local authority.
* Comparisons of comparable schools in England and Wales show many Welsh schools are better funded than their English equivalents.
** for details see LGCnet
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