WELSH schools are not funded sufficiently to enable them to provide children with the best possible education.
That is one of the main findings of a report which forms part of a national education review.
And Plaid Cymru's Shadow Education Minister, Janet Ryder AM, has welcomed the report published by the School Funding Committee, which was established following a motion she put to the National Assembly last year. Headteachers in Wrexham and Flintshire were among the most vocal critics of the current funding system and its effects on schools in North East Wales.
The committee was welcomed by teaching unions and education professionals.
The committee's main conclusions the are that Welsh schools are not funded sufficiently to enable them to provide children with the best possible education for the 21st Century; that there is great variation between counties and even within counties on the average spend per pupil; and that there is a lack of transparency in how money announced in the
Assembly reaches schools.
Based on this, the committee has made 27 recommendations including:
A new funding formula for schools is needed; nA standard level of education spending per pupil should be adopted throughout Wales;
The Education Committee must be notified immediately about the share of spending that comes to Wales;
There must be a clarification of the complex funding mechanisms for schools;
Schools should be given a three-year funding model.
Ms Ryder said: 'This report raises grave concerns about the way our schools are being funded and current funding levels.
'Schools need stability and funding arrangements to allow them to plan for the long term - a three-year funding cycle would help achieve this.
'The current funding system, based on the number of pupils in each school can fluctuate from year to year. This impacts on their funding which prevents schools from being able to plan ahead effectively.'
She added: 'Parents are concerned that increased funding in England is not reflected in increased money for Wales.