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Teachers cynical over government money

PUBLISHED: 12:27 04 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:57 03 March 2010

PROMISES of Government cash to tackle school funding are cutting no ice with headteachers.

Education minister Charles Clarke has promised more money to make sure the cash crisis is not repeated next year.

PROMISES of Government cash to tackle school funding are cutting no ice with headteachers.

Education minister Charles Clarke has promised more money to make sure the cash crisis is not repeated next year.

But Chris Harrison, Suffolk's secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, said his members had tired of Government promises.

He said: "Education, education, education has turned into frustration, frustration, frustration.

"We are being told that we are not going to have this problem next year.

"But who is doing the sums? How they see the problem now is going to affect what the situation looks like in the future.

"And there's still a problem this year which needs to be addressed.

"It doesn't fill us with confidence and it takes our eyes of the ball because the problem remains this year."

While ministers are still playing down the extent of the funding crisis, the Government's public spending watchdog is set to launch an inquiry into the fiasco.

The Evening Star revealed last week how headteachers were losing staff to the cash crisis.

All redundancy notices were issued by last Friday afternoon, but it is unclear whether any of them will be compulsory.

Mr Harrison's primary school in Lowestoft has not suffered the same budget problems as many others.

But he said fighting for every penny was a stressful job which should be repeated, even if there were no compulsory redundancies in other schools.

He said: "In order to save large enough sums of money, we're going through the process of redundancy notices, but we're never sure how it will end up.

"One thing we pressed very strongly for is the ability to plan strategically, knowing what budgets will be like for the next three to four years.

"But if year one is like this you can imagine how we feel about years two, three and four.

"Many schools have used up almost their entire budget on staffing costs."

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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