HC Deb 22 July 1907 vol 178 cc1179-80
MR. SAMUEL ROBERTS (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education if any applications have been received from local education authorities for a share in the grant of £100,000 towards the erection of new schools; and, if so, how many applications have been received, and from what authorities.


I have received a considerable number of inquiries as to whether a contribution from this grant will be available, but they are mostly based on a misapprehension as to the scope of the grant and no complete record of such applications has been preserved.


I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education if he will lay upon the Table a copy of the circular to be issued to local education authorities informing them of the methods by which they should apply for their share of the £100,000 to be voted for new schools.


The hon. Member is under a misapprehension in supposing that each local authority will be entitled to share in this grant. The grant is intended for, and restricted to, special cases where the conditions, which I have already outlined to the House, are satisfied. I am not prepared to say whether a circular will or will not be required, but I have under consideration regulations, compliance with which will be necessary in order to obtain the grant, and these will in due course be laid upon the Table.


I beg to ask the Secretary to the Board of Education whether he will again consider the possibility of making the annual Government grant to local educational authorities payable in instalments, in view of the inconvenience caused to such authorities by the present system.


The arrangement which my hon. Friend indicates will, of course, be considered in connection with any scheme for amalgamation and simplifying the existing grants and methods of payment, and I hope I may be in a position next year to initiate considerable advance in that direction. I do not consider it possible, pending the introduction of more extensive changes, to revert to the system of quarterly instalments of annual grant, which was a purely temporary expedient.

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