HC Deb 17 May 1988 vol 133 c797
13. Mr. Allen McKay

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to publish the annual report of Her Majesty's inspectors on the quality of provision in schools.

Mrs. Rumbold

My right hon. Friend hopes to publish the report for the 1987–88 academic year next January.

Mr. McKay

As previous reports from Her Majesty's inspectors have spelt out the truth about the Government's neglect of our education system, will the Minister ask her right hon. Friend to ensure that the report receives maximum promotion and publicity, as do his reports and statements from the Department of Education and Science?

Mrs. Rumbold

As I have just said, my right hon. Friend will publish the report. I remind the hon. Gentleman that the last expenditure report from Her Majesty's inspectors showed that in just over half the schools visited there was a need for improved teaching styles, better perception of pupils' needs and higher expectations of pupils. The report stated: unsatisfactory standards of provision are more often related to ineffective deployment of people and resources than to shortages of the resources".

Mr. Ian Bruce

When the report is published, will my hon. Friend comment that it is clear that the amount of money that is spent per pupil varies widely throughout local authority areas and that, unfortunately, we do not get quality for pounds spent in many of those areas, especially in ILEA? Will she highlight the fact that areas such as Dorset, which spend far less per pupil, get a better quality of education for the money spent?

Mrs. Rumbold

I thank my hon. Friend for that question. Reports by Her Majesty's inspectors take an overall look at what happens in all our schools. While they take into account expenditure, they also take into account the quality of the education that is delivered. That is easily identifiable and will be recognised in the report.

Mr. Cryer

Following the disgraceful attack by the Secretary of State on the right hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath), I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that the inspectors will be concerned about the standard of buildings in constituencies such as mine of Bradford, South, where the Government are neglecting the construction of the schools. Many schools in my constituency exist almost entirely in temporary classrooms. When will the Government make adequate provision in cities such as Bradford, with expanding school rolls, for which they are not now providing sufficient money?

Mrs. Rumbold

In the local government elections in the hon. Gentleman's constituency the Labour party lost control, so clearly there cannot necessarily have been such wonderful expenditure on buildings there. The public expenditure plans for this year contain considerable increases, as I have said earlier, for additional building work.