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Brown Backs State Education


Announced in this week’s Budget are plans to raise the standard of state school education to that found within the private sector.

A funding injection of £8bn over five years will boost state learning to the same level as that enjoyed by the 10% of children in private schooling, said the Chancellor.

An extra £220m has been set aside for next year and £365m for 2007-8, doubling the funding per head from £2,500 to £5,000.

"But this figure of £5,000 per pupil still stands in marked contrast to average spending per pupil in the private sector of £8,000 a year," he said .

In secondary state education there is one teacher for every 16 students, compared to one per nine pupils in private schools. Brown also announced extra funding to recruit 3,000 more secondary school science teachers.

The new measures are not restricted to secondary school students. Brown also launched a ‘second chance’ opportunity for the under-25s to gain qualifications equivalent to the A-level standard, free of charge.

He added that £40m would be provided to address the difficulties of low-skilled women through training and careers advice.

The Association of Colleges welcomed the changes, but expressed concern over where the changes would leave students fitting neither the teenager or lacking basic skills category.

“The lack of information about how this new commitment is to be funded leaves uncertainty about the impact on other learners," it said.


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