Money urged for primary schools

PRIMARY schools are receiving more money from local authorities after years of underfunding, a parliamentary inquiry will be told today, writes Fran Abrams.

However, primary schools are still education's poor relation, a survey has revealed. On average, pounds 1,415 per year is spent on each pupil at primary or nursery school, while for those in secondary schools the figure is pounds 2,190.

The amount of money spent on both primary and nursery pupils in most areas is still less than 70 per cent of that spent on secondary school pupils.

A study of 101 of the 108 local education authorities in England, to be presented to a House of Commons select committee inquiry into the funding gap between the two sectors, has found that three- quarters are now giving more money to younger pupils.

The figures were compiled by Stephen Byers, Labour MP for Wallsend and a former local authority leader, and will be presented to the inquiry today, its deadline for submissions.

Although 76 authorities had increased spending on primary schools, 23 had actually cut it, but in most cases the decrease was less than 5 per cent.

Of those which had put more money into primary schools, five had increased the proportion by more than 10 per cent and another 12 by more than 5 per cent.