HC Deb 17 February 1938 vol 331 cc2068-9
63 and 64. Mr. Tomlinson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education (1) whether his attention has been called to the serious effect upon local education authorities of the decline in the school population with its consequent effect upon average attendance; and will he consider the advisability of revising the grant regulations with a view to easing the burden upon hard-pressed local authorities;

(2) whether the formula upon which grants are made to local education authorities has been revised since 1914; whether he has received any representations from local authorities as to its inequitable working; and what steps, if any, he proposes to take in order to meet those representations?

Mr. Lindsay

My Noble Friend is aware of the effect upon the finances of local education authorities of the decrease in the school population, and representations have been made to him that the present grant formula is inequitable in its working. The practical difficulties of the present situation are under discussion by representatives of local education authorities and officers of the Board of Education. The grant system in 1914 was on an entirely different basis from that which now obtains.

Mr. Tomlinson

Will the hon. Gentleman give particular consideration to the point that at the present time those authorities which are being hardest hit by declining population are being called upon to pay, through the regulations, a higher figure? May I ask him also whether the formula is not still based on the 36s. which was the cost in 1914?

Mr. Lindsay

I think the hon. Member will find that my original answer covers both his supplementary questions.

Mr. Lipson

When does the Parliamentary Secretary expect that the committee of inquiry will be in a position to report?

Mr. Lindsay

I think it will take some little time; the matter is very complicated.

Number of State Scholarships awarded in the years 1931 to 1937 (inclusive).
1931. 1932. 1933. 1934. 1935. 1936. 1937.
Boys 185 184 186 185 185 235 235
Girls 115 116 114 115 115 128 125
Total 300 300 300 300 300 363 360