Climbdown over education diktat

Plans to force two London councils to spend budget increases on
schools rather than care services have been abandoned.

Two weeks ago, education secretary Charles Clarke used new powers
under the Education Act 2002 to order Croydon and Westminster
Councils to transfer – or “passport” – more than 90 per cent of the
rise in their education budget to schools.

The Department for Education and Skills said the councils were not
using as much of their grant increase on education as other
authorities. Local authorities usually have the flexibility to
spend some of their education allocations on other, less
well-funded, services.

This week, the department accepted the councils’ revised school
budgets and withdrew the threat of “passporting” education funds.

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