Schools in England are to be guaranteed a real-terms increase in funding next year under plans being formulated by the education secretary, Charles Clarke, to prevent a repeat of this year's budget crisis, reports The Guardian(p1). Although he has ruled out emergency injections of funds for this year, Mr Clarke is prepared to take action to ensure each school receives a minimum rise in funding per pupil next year - even if it means trampling on the traditional rights of councils to decide local priorities.
Meanwhile, local government leaders have hit back at a comment article in The Guardian(28/05/03), which suggested schools should receive direct funding from central government. Local Government Association chairman, Jeremy Beecham, Dennis Reed from the Local Government Information Unit and Liz Allen from the New Local Government Network write in letters published in The Guardian(p29), that local councils should be responsible for education and its funding, and that they needed more flexibility to address local needs.
BUDGET CRISIS LEADS TO THOUSANDS OF TEACHING STAFF REDUNDANCIES - NEW SURVEY
Nearly 1,500 teachers in England will be issued with redundancy notices as a result of the schools funding crisis, a new survey by The Independent(p2) has found. It also revealed that one in three local councils were shedding staff because of falling pupil rolls. A total of 66 local education authorities were surveyed. Authority by authority results of the survey. A si milar survey by The Times Educational Supplement (p1), found that a thousand teachers and hundreds of support staff will be made redundant this September.
ESSEX HEAD TEACHERS DITCH LEA SUPPORT AND GO PRIVATE
Leader of the Labour opposition at Essex CC, Paul Sztumpf, criticised plans by head teachers to negotiate their own private sector support package, reports The Times Educational Supplement, (p2). Cllr Sztumpf said he was appalled the head teachers' confidence in the local education authority was so low. Although head teachers could not remove the LEA completely, the private sector partnership would enable them to buy advice on areas such as financial management.
THE INSPECTOR CALLS IT A DAY
The man who invented Ofsted and made schools accountable is to retire, reports The Times Educational Supplement (p10). John Burchill played a major part in creating the model of the modern local education authority during his last 14 years at Wandsworth LBC.