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Gove accused over schools cash cuts

The coalition has been accused of another policy U-turn after it agreed to review education funding cuts for councils.

Local authorities had been set to lose £148 million from budgets this year and £265 million next as a result of schools converting to academies.

While they pay for support services such as special needs education and accountancy for state institutions, academies get all funding direct from central government.

However, 23 councils threatened legal action last month, claiming the method used to calculate the cuts was unfair.

Education Secretary Michael Gove confirmed that the reductions were now being reviewed because the number of academies was growing so quickly.

"The success of the academies programme means that more teachers are now in control of their schools, with a third of all secondary schools now academies or on their way to becoming one," Mr Gove said.

"But we have to assure value for money and make sure that the taxpayer is not paying twice for the same services."

Shadow education secretary Andy Burnham said: "This is the third time in a year that Michael Gove has had to U-turn under the threat of legal action.

"And the reason that it keeps happening is that he is railroading his policies through without proper consultation, without listening to parents, to teachers, to local councillors."

The whole budget for the Department of Education had been "thrown into chaos" as a result, according to Mr Burnham.


From Belfast Telegraph