HC Deb 27 July 1967 vol 751 cc962-3
29. Mr. Archer

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many local education authorities are paying educational maintenance allowances at the rates of at least £107, £130, and £142 for ages 15, 16 and 17 years, respectively.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

This information is not available.

Mr. Archer

Does my hon. Friend recollect that these are the figures which she quoted on 15th June as being the equivalent of the Weaver Recommendations? Should not we know if they are being paid?

Mrs. Williams

My hon. Friend may be aware that, since the introduction of the general grant in 1959, this has been entirely a matter for the discretion of local education authorities. My previous figures were given in the light of the change in the value of money since the Weaver Report originally made its recommendations known.

Sir E. Boyle

Is the Minister aware that, despite what she said about the general grant, it is the overwhelming feeling in this House that these figures should be available? Would she kindly discuss the matter with the local education authorities?

Mrs. Williams

I will certainly bear the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion in mind, but I would point out that the overall figure shows an increase from £1.25 million in 1964 to £1.3 million in 1965–66. We therefore have reason to believe that the total cost is increasing.