HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 cc558-9
7. Mr. Archer

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will compile, for use by local education authorities, a national scale for educational maintenance allowances on the model of that previously applying to the assessment of school meals; and if he will take steps to ensure that it is publicised.

Mr. Edward Short

Local education authorities have discretion in this matter and I would not seek to impose a national scale; but I hope that authorities will take account of present day needs in considering reviews of their scales.

Mr. Archer

While thanking my right hon. Friend for the final hope in his Answer, is he aware that there is such a diversity in scales and practice that sometimes even the headmasters do not know what goes on at the town hall and that confused parents simply give up? Many local authorities would welcome guidance.

Mr. Short

I should be reluctant to give local authorities guidance. I am watching the position carefully. If the need arises, I will ask them for information about it. This is a matter which should be left to their discretion in view of the considerable local differences.