HC Deb 04 August 1904 vol 139 cc960-1
MR. LLOYD WHARTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Ripon)

To ask the Secretary to the Board of Education if he will give the relative proportion (or percentage) of the cost of elementary education in England and Wales, borne by local and Imperial funds, during the last three years.

(Answered by Sir William Anson.) So far as expenses of elementary education, otherwise than for buildings and for administration, are concerned, the following are the official figures for the three years named:—

local education authorities since the Act of 1902 came into operation. But the Imperial contribution given in the above column has been increased by £1,248,000. This will of course alter the proportion of expenditure as between Imperial and local funds, but it is impossible to say what the proportion will precisely be until figures are obtainable of the moneys expended from local sources by the authorities under the new state of things. If the expenditure from other than Imperial sources were remaining the same, the proportion of the total expenditure borne by Imperial funds would, owing to the increase of the Exchequer Grant given in 1902, have been increased from 63.6 per cent. above stated to 73.2 per cent. and the burden to be borne by local funds decreased from 36.4 per cent. to 26.8 per cent., so that the Exchequer would have been bearing practically three-quarters of the burden of maintenance of public elementary schools. As, however, most of the local authorities are quite properly improving the education in their schools and are expending somewhat larger sums than were before spent from sources other than Imperial funds, it is not possible at present to state the exact proportion now borne by Imperial and local funds respectively on maintenance, but there can be no doubt that the Exchequer still bears considerably the larger share of this burden.