§ 9. Mr. Heddle
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations or comment he has received so far on his paper "A Framework for the School Curriculum", and if he will make a statement on the progress of discussions.
§ Mr. Mark Carlisle
My noble Friend the Minister of State met the local authority associations in mid-March in the first of a series of consultative meetings with national bodies in the education service and outside. Written comments on the curriculum framework proposals have been received from a wide range of bodies and individuals, and more are expected.
§ Mr. Heddle
Will my right hon. and learned Friend say whether his proposals are being welcomed generally? Will he state how he proposes to implement the outcome of the discussions in practice in schools?
§ Mr. Carlisle
I am glad to say that our proposals have been generally welcomed. 192 As to their implementation, I hope that as a result of the consultations that have begun agreement will be reached between the various bodies on what should form the basic curriculum in any school. On the strength of that, we propose to issue another document later in the year setting out guidance.
§ Mr. Carlisle
First, I do not accept the promise of the hon. Gentleman, who speaks for the Liberal Party. Secondly, £30 million is a figure that he has plucked out of the air. Thirdly, I believe that the fact that we are seeking a 6½ per cent. reduction in expenditure over the next five years on secondary and primary education at a time when the school population is dropping by 13 per cent. is totally compatible with maintaining standards.