Education: Your View: Use of Millennium funds

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I note with interest that the Government wishes to raise pounds 150m from sponsors for the Millennium Experience by spending pounds 9m. I also note that the Government wishes to keep to existing spending targets for the next two years. This means that, among others, the education budget is frozen and that next year's teachers' pay round will not be funded.

A quick calculation shows that the money raised from sponsors would amount to nearly pounds 7,000 extra for every school in the country. This may not sound much, but in the school where I am a governor this is almost 2.5 per cent of our already fragile annual budget.

This amount is similar to that which our local education authority (Croydon) was going to claw back this year, because it had not received sufficient money for its education budget. This was money that we had earmarked for overdue improvements to our nursery. It was only partly reinstated after we refused to set a budget and threatened to appeal.

I could suggest more useful ways of spending pounds 150m. For instance, we could afford to fund our teachers for the Millennium, or carry out our necessary improvements. Actually I would be happy to rename our nursery "The BT Millennium Nursery"; it needn't cost pounds 9m.

Nick Shepherd

Coulsdon, Surrey