Grant changes put teaching posts at risk

16 Dec 99
Hundreds of teaching jobs are at risk following the ending of Section 11 grants to local authorities. The grants are paid for teachers to help residents for whom English is a foreign language.

17 December 1999

All authorities with large ethnic minority populations are affected by the changes and may have to sack staff or find the cash to continue existing arrangements.

Hundreds of teachers and assistants were employed with Section 11 money. But since April, the Home Office's Section 11 grant has been transferred to the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Department for Education and Employment as the Ethnic Minority Achievement grant.

And from the new financial year in 2000, 85% of the grant will be devolved to schools, which may choose to opt out of their LEA provision.

Schools' allocations are changing, with some receiving little more than half of the cost of teachers employed under the former arrangements. Schools will be allowed to spend the grant in other ways.

On Monday, Leicester City Council decided to begin redundancy consultation for 200 staff that schools may not wish to re-employ.

Birmingham City Council says it was only able to avoid most redundancies through months of negotiations with its schools. Just ten to 12 staff are now at risk, with all the others placed with schools.

Mark Wyatt, of Birmingham's education advisory service, said: 'By holding off longer we have been able to place more teachers, and persuade schools to take more. Schools might have wanted to use the money differently.'


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