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Lessons we must learn; comment.

LIVERPOOL is in a vicious circle so far as schools are concerned.

If we are to attract people to come to live in the city, well-funded, quality schools are a must.

But as the population of Liverpool - and numbers of pupils - is in decline, so too is the funding.

Today, we reveal that Liverpool schools are to receive nearly pounds 4m less from the government for this year's budget due to falling pupil numbers.

The amount handed over to Liverpool education authority for primary schools is pounds 1.75m less, while for secondary schools it is pounds 2.13m less.

And, as councillor Paul Clein, Liverpool's executive member for education, points out: "It's going to get worse because the birth rate figures are in continual decline - that has major consequences."

The news comes just two days after Liverpool city council announced it would be increasing its education spending.

It essentially means that, despite the initial good news - and the fact that the council is going to try to make up as much of the shortfall as possible - Liverpool schools will potentially see less money spent on them.

Of course, if numbers do keep falling at the rate they are doing - there has been a drop of 620 pupils in the last year - the amount of spending has to reflect that to some extent;

there must be some rationalisation.

But the key to limiting the impact of that is consultation with the people it affects most.

There are many, many parents in this city who care deeply about the future of their children's education.

They must be allowed to play a part in deciding its future.
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Title Annotation:Leader
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2002
Words:275
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