Opinion Former Article

NUT on Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union said;

"The Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant helps support the learning needs of some of the most vulnerable children in our schools yet the per-pupil value of the grants has been frozen in cash terms. This means a cut in real terms.

"Previously EMAG was a ring-fenced grant. This allowed Local Authorities to retain a central Ethnic Minority Achievement service using centrally-employed teachers. Distribution of the remaining allocation to schools was on a locally determined but needs-based, fair and transparent basis.

"According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request carried out in March 2011 by the NUT and National Association of Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC) almost a third (29.3 per cent) of Local Authorities in England are not holding back the EMAG grant to meet the specific educational needs of minority ethnic pupils.

"The NUT believes that local retention of EMAG is essential as a minimum protection both for central EMA services, and Traveller education services. Local Authorities should be required to hold EMAG centrally. Funding to support ethnic minority and bilingual pupils should be developed, deployed and managed by Local Authorities. They are best placed to play this role effectively and efficiently and to provide value for money."

ENDS

For further details contact Caroline Cowie on 07879480061

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