§ 5. Mr. Brandon-Bravo
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent the Education (Grants and Awards) Acts have been used to assist in specific programmes to help education for crime prevention.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
In the current year education support grants are supporting expenditure by local education authorities of up to £2 million on preventing the misuse of drugs. In 1987–88 they will, in addition, be supporting expenditure of up to £1 million on schemes to promote social responsibility among young people with a view to reducing juvenile crime.
§ Mr. Brandon-Bravo
I welcome expenditure in this area of education. Are any of these grants used to discourage vandalism? Are grants available to encourage parental responsibility in respect of this activity? My hon. Friend may be aware—if not, I will send him the details—of a great tragedy in my consitituency where young persons are causing great distress and damage. I believe that education has a role to play in improving the position.
§ Mr. Patten
I assure my hon. Friend that what we have in mind will include schemes designed to reduce vandalism as well as projects to involve parents. I draw my hon. Friend's attention to the guide on best practice in securing education buildings against vandalism, which we have already published, and a study of the subject, which we initiated. We hope that the Education Bill, which strengthens the links between parents and schools, will help in that regard as well.
§ Mr. Greenway
Will my hon. Friend consider using the Education (Grants and Awards) Acts to stimulate team games coaching and teaching in all schools? That will give our children a chance to learn cricket, rugger, soccer and other team games which are currently denied them by many Labour authorities. Does my hon. Friend realise that Michael Gatting, who is captaining England at cricket with such distinction, was a product of a London school, and that we shall never see the like of him again if the Labour-controlled London authorities are allowed to continue as they are?
§ Mr. Patten
Like my hon. Friend, I deplore some of the attitudes of Labour-controlled local education authorities on team games. Like my hon. Friend, I think that there is a strong case for encouraging more coaching of cricket, especially in view of events elsewhere today.