BOARD of Education chairman Tam Man-kwan yesterday said extra funding was needed to attract aided schools to join the Government's Direct Subsidy Scheme. Mr Tam was responding to Mr Jenney's criticisms that the scheme had inadequate planning. No school had joined the scheme since its introduction in the 1991-92 school year. Mr Tam supported the scheme recommended in Education Report No 3 and said it would allow schools higher autonomy in the allocation of funds. The Government wanted to improve private schools' standards through the scheme. To make it successful, it would need different types of schools as well as reputable aided schools to join the scheme in the early stage to impress the public. Mr Tam said it was difficult to attract reputable aided schools to join because subsidies given under the scheme were calculated on the average running cost of all aided schools. But a reputable aided school usually had higher running costs because of more senior teachers with higher salaries, Mr Tam said. He said such schools also had higher maintenance costs. He said a solution to the problem was to give extra funding to schools with a higher cost. A similar idea was rejected by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in 1991. Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower Lam Woon-kwong blamed the lack of enthusiasm from aided schools on the Legislative Council's refusal to approve more fund for the scheme. He said it was 'very unfortunate' and in fact one interested school at that time withdrew after the Finance Committee's rejection. Responding to Mr Jenney's criticism that the Government had deliberately misled the Executive Council to approve the scheme, Mr Lam said the branch had no intention of withholding unfavourable arguments from the highest advisory body. Mr Jenny said in his report the Exco was not specifically informed of the view of the Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Schools Council which did not support the admission of aided schools to the direct subsidy scheme. Public Accounts Committee chairman Peter Wong Hong-yuen said the committee had the power to seek the Executive Council memorandum to check whether Mr Lam's claim was true. The scheme, to which a number of private schools have joined, is now being reviewed by the Private Schools Review Committee.