37. Mr. W. Joseph Stewart
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of 2097 Education whether any arrangements are being made to give more than the 50 per cent. grant to education authorities, especially to those in the Special Areas where rates are high, with a view to helping them to provide new school buildings to replace those condemned by the Board and also to assist them to provide the buildings necessary to meet the requirements of the Board when the new Education Act comes into operation next year?
The grant to local education authorities for elementary education is not a flat 50 per cent., but is based on a formula of which I am sending the hon. Member particulars. Provision is already made in the Elementary Education Grant Regulations for the payment of additional grant to necessitous areas. The effect of this grant for 1936–37 is to bring the total amount paid to those areas considerably above 50 per cent. of their total expenditure; for example, in the hon. Member's own area of County Durham the additional necessitous areas grant will be about £37,000, bringing up the total grant paid to over 60 per cent. of the authority's expenditure.
Can my hon. Friend say whether it is intended to prolong the period during which the 50 per cent. grant is available?
Would the Parliamentary Secretary consider giving a 60 per cent. grant to all local authorities if they put their schools right within, say, 10 years?