Headlines: May 4th, 2000

The Local Government Association (LGA) is pulling in support in its bid to keep school funding in local council hands.It is calling a meeting of all those organisations with an interest in education to back its case to maintain control over the service.

There is growing speculation that, after year on year reduction in the powers of education authorities, with more responsibility given direct to schools from the DofEE, the Government may complete the job by setting up a central agency to handle school funding.

Last month the LGA published its own findings that such an agency would cost 5.2 billion pounds more per year to administer, than currently. It also argues that local knowledge of local needs would also be lost.

Tomorrow, (Friday) representatives from teaching unions, parent and governor bodies will be joined by at a summit in London by church educationalists and council leaders to reach a consensus on the way forward.

The summit’s finding will be discussed at a series of LGA/DfEE working party meetings over the next two months.

‘What Price a National Funding System?’ published earlier by the LGA, is available on the internet at www.lga.gov.uk/lga/education/funding.pdf