§ SIR GEORGE DOUGHTY (Great Grimsby)
To ask the President of the Board of Education what was the total cost of education in England and Wales in 1901–2 under the school board; what proportion was borne by the Imperial Exchequer and what proportion by the ratepayers; what was the cost in 1903–4, 1901–5, and 1905–6: what proportion came from the Imperial Exchequer and what proportion from the ratepayers; what was the total cost on capital account for school buildings and loans; and what was paid for interest and sinking fund, or redemption of loans, in each of these years.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) Understanding that the concluding phrase of the first paragraph is intended to limit the purview of the Question to elementary education, the reply is as follows, omitting the expenditure of the Board of Education on its own administration and inspection:—(1) The total recorded expenditure on elementary education in England and Wales in 1901–2 was approximately £16,901,276. This included £8,949,650 from Exchequer and Parliamentary grants, £6,508,297 from school board rates, £876,361 from voluntary subscriptions, and £566,968 from other sources, e.g., endowments, fees, etc. But this total does not include any expenditure on voluntary school buildings, for which reliable figures do not exist, while it does include school board expenditure on buildings in the shape of interest, sinking fund, and repayment of principal, though not the loans themselves; (2) The year 1903–4 was largely transitional in character, and. even approximately accurate figures cannot be given; (3) In 1904–5 the transitional character continues, and complete reliable figures are difficult to give. But it may be estimated approximately that the total expenditure on elementary education from public funds was about £19,379,653, allowing rough additions to compensate for incomplete periods. This includes £9,874,364 from Exchequer and Parliamentary grants, £8,762,625 from local rates, and £742,664 from other 459 local sources, such as fees, endowments, etc. Voluntary subscriptions for annual maintenance had, of course, ceased. Expenditure from voluntary subscriptions upon buildings, and also upon "managers' purposes" under the Education Act of 1902, are not included in this, as figures are not available, but the total does include interest, sinking fund and repayment of principal in respect of council schools, though not the loans themselves; (4) Complete figures for 905–6 do not at present exist. According to calculations based upon estimates recently collected from local authorities, it is believed that about £20,891,135 will have been expended from public funds on elementary education for the year 1905–6. Of this sum about £10,682,935 is from Parliamentary grants, about £9,909,255 from local rates, and £298,945 from other sources, such as endowments, fees, etc. Voluntary subscriptions and expenditure upon voluntary school buildings being excluded just as for the previous year, while interest, sinking fund, and repayment of principal in respect of council school buildings are included; (5) As regards school buildings and loans, no information is available in respect of voluntary schools, whether before or since 1902. As regards local rates in respect of board schools, the total amount spent in 1901–2 in respect of interest, sinking fund, and repayment of principal was £2,022,306. (This is exclusive of the moneys spent in that year on capital account, from loans, of £2,386,291, which is not included in the total given in paragraph (1) above); (6) In 1904–5, so far as can be estimated, about £2,263,604 was spent in respect of interest, sinking fund, and repayment of principal as regards council schools, while for 1905–6 it is roughly estimated that the amount will have been about £2,396,891. The amount of the actual loan or capital charges in each of these years for council schools is not known, nor any of the expenditure on voluntary school buildings; (7) But it must be clearly understood that all the figures given above for the years 1904–6 are rough calculations, and that no accurate figures are yet obtainable.