§ 1. Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any plans to reduce the administrator-teacher ratios within local education authorities.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Michael Fallon)
There are unacceptably wide variations in the proportion of resources LEAs delegate to schools. We published proposals last month to require that by April 1993 at least 85 per cent. of resources should get down to the school level. That is where the right decisions will be made.
§ Mr. Butler
Will my hon. Friend confirm that local management of schools has, at long last, identified the heavy administrative load from which some education services suffer? Is not it time that it was reduced?
§ Mr. Fallon
My hon. Friend is right. It is wholly wrong that councils such as Coventry and Cleveland should employ as many non-teachers as teachers on their education budgets. Parents and teachers want more of their schools' money given back to the schools themselves, and that is what the new requirement will ensure.
§ Mr. Campbell-Savours
With Cumbria making every effort to ensure that as much money as possible is devolved to schools, may we presume in return that the Government will look favourably on that authority when they make the next settlement?
§ Mr. Fallon
I am delighted to hear from the hon. Gentleman, and Cumbria has confirmed it to me, that that authority hopes to do much better next year—it needs to do much better—in delegating more money downwards to its schools.