60. Mr. T. THOMSON
asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that at the present time only two English education authorities outside the London area receive any assistance from the necessitous school areas grant; and, in view of the exceptionally heavy burden borne by the ratepayers in many districts, will he take steps to modify the formula under which this grant is paid, so that a larger number of necessitous English education authorities may participate in it during the coming year?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Trevelyan)
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. One of the reasons why comparatively few areas receive special extra assistance as highly rated areas is that the ordinary grant payable 2539 to all areas gives increased aid to those in which the assessable value is low. The operation of the grant Regulations is kept under observation, and I should certainly desire to make it as equitable as possible, regard being had to the circumstances of exceptionally highly rated areas.
Can the right hon. Gentleman hold out any hope of modifying the formula so that a larger number of English necessitous areas may get advantage this year?