HC Deb 04 August 1971 vol 822 cc1561-3
8. Mr. John Smith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the amounts of grants being made to grant-aided schools in Scotland.

Mr. Monro

Subject to the condition that the total grant must not exceed the school's deficit, the basic grants set out in the Grant-Aided Secondary Schools (Scotland) Grant (Amendment) Regulations, 1971 may be increased in 1971–72 by the amounts shown in the table which, with permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT. I cannot yet say how much will actually be paid.

Mr. Smith

May I add my congratulations to the hon. Gentleman on his promotion? I do not want to land him with a skeleton which his predecessor left behind in his cupboard, but does not he recall that we debated this matter on 13th July when questions were asked by hon. Members on this side of the House about the amount to be paid to grant-aided schools in Scotland? The information was not given, but it appeared on 20th July in the Press, to whom it was presumably given on 19th July. Is this not a disgraceful way of treating the House of Commons, to produce in the Press figures which have been requested but which have been withheld from the House? Will the hon. Gentleman, who I know was not responsible for this since the bird who was responsible has flown, undertake not to treat Parliament in such a disgraceful way?

Mr. Monro

I cannot accept the accuracy of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary. The purpose of the amending Regulations which we debated that night was not to prescribe an additional amount of grant but to enable the Secretary of State to pay increased grant to take account of rises in prices and costs. The actual amounts were not determined in advance and they will not be available until the schools' final accounts have been received and examined.

Mr. Buchan

May I also add my congratulations to the hon. Gentleman on his promotion, although I cannot hope or expect him to be on the Government side of the House for very much longer?

Is he aware that this answer is not good enough? The subject was debated in the House, and the following week we were given the figures in the Press, but only today are we told that the information will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT, I accept that the hon. Gentleman is not responsible, but I hope that he will stiffen up some of his colleagues in the Scottish Office and not insult Parliament, as has happened on this occasion.

Mr. Monro

I note what the hon. Gentleman says, but I cannot accept it. The important point in the debate was that my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edward Taylor) stated that relevant costs had increased by 20 per cent. and that the grant would take account of this.

Mr. MacArthur

May I also add my warm congratulations to my hon. Friend on his new cap? May I ask him to resist and reject every assault on variety and freedom of choice in education?

Mr. Monro

I thank my hon. Friend. He can rest assured that I shall be supporting the grant-aided schools.

Following is the table:

Name of School Amount £
Albyn School for Girls 9,266
Robert Gordon's College 20,974
St. Margaret's School 5,897
High School of Dundee 19,844
Merchant Company Schools:
Daniel Stewart's College 75,402
Mary Erskine School for Girls
George Watson's College
George Watson's Ladies' College
George Heriot's School 20,953
John Watson's School 6,147
Melville College 7,835
St. Mary's Cathedral Choir School 971
Craigholme School for Girls 9,459
Hutchesons' Boys' Grammar School 30,274
Hutchesons' Girls' Grammar School
Kelvinside Academy 8,800
Laurel Bank School 11,333
St. Aloysius' College 13,246
Westbourne School for Girls 9,063
Troon, Marr College 16,761
Dollar Academy 17,316
Maxwelltown, Benedictine Convent School 3,194
Dumfries, St. Joseph's College 6,176
Crieff, Morrison's Academy, Boys' School 17,266
Crieff, Morrison's Academy, Girls' School
Girls' School Company Limited:
Glasgow, The Park School 26,226
Helensburgh, St. Bride's School
Kilmacolm, St. Columba's School

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