HC Deb 04 April 1989 vol 150 cc8-9
7. Mr. Knox

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much was spent per pupil for primary schools in Staffordshire in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what was the comparable figure in 1978–79, at constant prices.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. John Butcher)

In cash terms, Staffordshire spent £370 per primary pupil in 1978–79 and £980 per primary pupil in 1987–88. At 1987–88 prices those figures are £755 and £980 respectively.

Mr. Knox

Does my hon. Friend agree that these figures show an impressive increase in expenditure per pupil in primary schools in Staffordshire since the present Government came to power? Will he further agree that they provide no evidence at all of alleged cuts in education and staffing by the Government?

Mr. Butcher

I fail to understand how the word "cut" can be used accurately in relation to education budgets. Nationally there has been a 35 per cent. increase in real terms in expenditure per pupil and a not too dissimilar increase in Staffordshire. My hon. Friend is absolutely right: those of us who wish to see improvements in standards of education have put our money where our mouths are and have adequately funded that improvement.