HC Deb 23 December 1929 vol 233 cc1905-7

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what financial arrangements are to be made with reference to maintenance allowances in respect of the raising of the school-leaving age?


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is in a position to say what, if any, arrangements have been made in regard to the payment of maintenance allowances for children in respect of the raising of the school-leaving age in Scotland?

The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. William Adamson)

The arrangements to be made for Scotland will be on similar lines to those already announced for England and Wales. As hon. Members are aware, legislation to raise the school age in Scotland is not necessary; but a Bill containing similar provisions to those of the English Bill in respect of the maintenance allowances will be required. This will, inter alia, empower the Department to make regulations under Sub-section (2) of Section 21 of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, prescribing the conditions governing the award of maintenance allowances by the Education Authorities. I propose to consult with representatives of the Scottish Education Authorities as to the scales of need and the procedure for determining eligibility for the allowances, and in this important matter the Department will, of course, keep in close touch with the Board of Education.

The Exchequer contribution towards the expenditure in Scotland will be payable into the Education (Scotland) Fund in accordance with the terms of Subsection (1) of Section 21 of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, that is, it will be the prescribed equivalent of the total grants payable in England and Wales at the rate of 60 per cent, on maintenance allowances, not exceeding 5s. a week. I am considering whether the grants from the Fund to the Education Authorities will be paid under the normal arrangements for grants now in force or whether there will be a special grant to each Education Authority in respect of the maintenance allowances it pays.


When may we expect the Bill for Scotland?


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what is the amount of the grant for Scotland?


Is it not quite clear that these consultations with the authorities must take place before that can be decided?


I think the hon. and learned Gentleman will find that his supplementary question is covered in my answer.


Did not the President of the Board of Education on Thursday last make a statement as to the amount?


I stated in the course of my reply that the amount that would be necessary for putting the maintenance allowance in operation would be on the usual basis of grants to Scottish education authorities.


On a point of Order. Some of us in this part of the House could not hear all the right hon. Gentleman's answer. Could we not have it read over again?