£1,000 per pupil lost in LEA bureaucracy

Figures published today show that almost a fifth of the £2.5billion education budget given to local education authorities is not passed on to schools, but eaten up in LEA bureaucracy.




The amount of funding that local education authorities delegate to schools for the financial year 2013-14 varies from 85% in Merthyr Tydfil and Denbighshire to 78% in Powys.




On average across Wales £992 per pupil is retained by LEAs.




In the 2011 Assembly elections, Welsh Conservatives proposed directly funding schools to bypass LEAs and put more money in the hands of teachers, parents and governors.




Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education, said, "These figures show how £1,000 for every pupil in Wales is being denied to schools and instead, is being eaten up by bureaucracy in our 22 local authorities.




"£1,000 per pupil in this year alone is a massive sum of money, which could fund improvements to facilities, IT equipment and books or fund additional teaching posts.




"When taxpayers’ money is under particular pressure, we need to do all we can to reduce bureaucratic costs in the Welsh Government and in local authorities to direct funding to the frontline public services.




"Welsh Conservatives have consisted backed the direct funding of schools to reduce the amount of money lost in administration and give more money to headteachers and governors because they know what is best for their school.




"There remains considerable variation between local authorities in the amount of money that is spent internally and not delegated to schools, which ranges from 15% to over 22%.




"Direct funding of schools would benefit all pupils and would be of greater benefit to education standards than Labour’s pupil deprivation grant which is unfocused, a drop in the ocean and completely unsustainable.




"The Welsh Government has a duty to work with local authorities to reduce the proportion of the schools budget, which fails to reach schools and I would urge Welsh Labour Ministers to consider directly funding schools to get more money into the classroom."