Education shortfall equal to 20,000 jobs

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The Independent Online
The Government expects local authorities to spend a total of £486m less on education over the next year - a sum equivalent to almost 20,000 teaching jobs, it was claimed yesterday.

The shortfall is revealed in a comparison of how much councils are spending in 1994-5 compared to the Government's approved levels set out in the standard spending assessment (SSA) in 1995-96.

The recommended SSA for all authorities for the next year amounts to £17.024m. It includes a provision of 1.1 per cent funding towards the teachers' 2.7 per cent pay rise. The rest, ministers say, must be met by an increase in efficiency and productivity. But over the past year, real spending by education authorities totalled £17.510m.

The figures supplied in a parliamentary answer to a Labour MP, Stephen Byers, show a number of authorities have been badly hit.

In areas such as Hampshire, Lancashire, Avon and Derbyshire, the difference between what is being spent and next year's SSA was between £30m and £39m.

Mr Byers calculates that the average cost of a teacher's salary with National Insurance is £24,500.

He says the £486m shortfall would be equivalent to just under 20,000 teaching jobs.