HEADTEACHERS in Bolton have given the multi-billion pound investment in education a cautious welcome.

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced an extra £15 billion-a-year for state education in yesterday's spending review with £50,000 per year earmarked for primary schools and £165,000 per year for a typical secondary school.

School chiefs though will have to deliver "radical" reforms in return for the extra cash. Education Secretary Estelle Morris was expected to reveal further details to MPs later today.

Today commenting on the cash handout Tony Buckley, headteacher of George Tomlinson School, Kearsley, said: "My initial reaction to the spending review is a cautious welcome. The devil is always in the detail with anything like this and I'm sure Estelle Morris will make conditions on how the money should be spent."

Tony Hill, head of The Deane School, said: "This money could employ more staff or more classroom assistants which would lighten the workload.

"But recruitment isn't necessarily easy and would the money continue after 2005?

"I would like to spend the extra cash on books, extra curricular activities and to make the curriculum more exciting."

Tim Oakes, headmaster of the Hayward School, said: "Any more money into education is to be welcomed.

"There are lots of priorities, but I'd like to consider how to spend the money carefully between now and next April and link it into projects which are already up and running."

Despite unions welcoming the extra cash for schools, there was concern that the Chancellor's efforts to raise standards would fail.

Bolton's secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Barry Conway, said: "It's not the figures of money that matter.

"Teachers will be pleased that their workload is being addressed, but £50,000 for a primary school is peanuts.

"Quite clearly the Government is intent on creating a two-tier system and destroying comprehensives.

"There shouldn't be winners and losers in a spending review."

By 2005-6 total spending on education in this country will stand at £68.4 billion compared with £29 billion in 1997.