HC Deb 22 January 1959 vol 598 cc386-7
13. Mr. Fitch

asked the Minister of Education to what extent, with the commencement of block grants on 1st April, 1959, local education authorities will be allowed freedom to run their own education affairs; and how far the control and supervision of detail in the day-today work of local education authorities, exercised by his Department, will correspondingly decrease after that date.

Sir E. Boyle

A general review of regulations, circulars and other administrative documents is being undertaken, but I cannot summarise within the limits of this answer all the changes which are likely to be made.

Mr. Fitch

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this interference with the day-to-day administration of local education authorities is causing great irritation? Will he give an undertaking that when the block grant supersedes the percentage grant more liberty will supersede petty interference?

Sir E. Boyle

I do not accept that the relations between the Ministry and local authorities are quite as bad as the hon. Member makes out, but we agree that with the change to the general grant certain controls will no longer be appropriate. I can assure him that the whole subject is currently being discussed with the associations of local education authorities and education committees.