HC Deb 18 May 1982 vol 24 cc185-6
18. Mr. Dobson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he proposes to provide additional resources to counter the threat to the maintenance of numeracy and literacy identified in paragraph 65 of Her Majesty's Inspectorate's report dated March 1982.

Sir Keith Joseph

I consider that the level of cash provision for school education included in the rate support grant settlement for 1982–83 was sufficient to maintain an adequate standard of education in that sector.

Mr. Dobson

If the Secretary of State proposes to take no notice whatever of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools' concern about the threat to standards in education, why does he not declare its members redundant, because they are obviously wasting their time ? In addition, as the Prime Minister and the right hon. Gentleman crawled round the country before the last general election talking about constantly improving education standards, why do they not resign?

Sir Keith Joseph

There are serious problems of adjustment to falling school rolls. However, the pupil-teacher ratio and real spending per child at school are both at record levels.

Mr. Christopher Price

If the Secretary of State is concerned about standards in schools, why did he reject all the Select Committee's proposals to keep up those standards? The proposals were made on an all-party basis. What proposals does the right hon. Gentleman have for maintaining standards in our schools?

Sir Keith Joseph

I look forward to discussing those crucial questions tomorrow with the Select Committee. think that the problems will not be solved in quite the way that the Select Committee suggested.