HC Deb 03 July 1979 vol 969 c1083
1. Mr. Hooley

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what effect the cuts in expenditure on schools for handicapped children will have on the number of new places provided in 1979–80 and 1980–81.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Mark Carlisle)

There should be no effect on the numbers of new places completed since, in making savings on capital expenditure in 1979–80, I have maintained the level of resources available for starting projects providing essential new places for handicapped children in schools.

Mr. Hooley

Is it not correct that the provision for special schools has been cut from £2.7 million to £1.7 million? How will this cut in no way affect the provision for handicapped pupils? Will the Minister explain the discrepancy between what he has just said and the published report of his intentions?

Mr. Carlisle

The building programme for special schools and all other schools is in two halves. One is for basic needs, namely, the provision of new places, and the other relates to the improvement of existing places.

As for special schools, I wish to inform the House that the total building programme was for £6.7 million, £4 million of which is for the provision of new places. The cut of £1 million comes off the improvement of existing places.