HC Deb 13 November 1973 vol 864 c229
8. Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the cost per 100,000 children of public education.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

In 1972–73, about £21½ million at out-turn prices, including capital expenditure from revenue and loan charges.

Mr. Jessel

Does my hon. Friend agree not only that would the Labour Party's policy to abolish all private education impose heavy additional expenses on both ratepayers and taxpayers but that, in constituencies such as mine with an above-average proportion of children attending private schools, it would lead to acute overcrowding of local authority schools?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The Opposition's proposals for the closing down of the private education sector would certainly be very expensive. About 500,000 children are involved and by 1981 the cumulative cost of transferring them to the publicly maintained sector could be of the magnitude of close on £1,000 million, including capital and recurrent costs, which is a sum roughly equivalent to our annual bill for teachers.

Mr. Deakins

Will the hon. Gentleman give the breakdown of the level of expenditure on a five-year-old school pupil and on a PhD student at university?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

My right hon. Friend does not think it necessary to go into detailed breakdowns of policies that she has no intention of putting into operation.