HC Deb 01 May 1922 vol 153 cc1009-10W
Lieut.-Colonel HURST

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he has agreed that the use of the new form of education account (annual statement) shall be postponed, so far as the year 1921–22 is concerned, and that local education authorities need not use it until they come to make a return of their receipts and expenditure for 1922–23?


I hoped that the previous answers given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health and myself had made the position clear, but as there appears to be some misapprehension, I will restate it. It is expected that all local education authorities will make use of the new form and return their receipts and expenditure for 1921–22 in that form, giving the totals under all the main headings, and so much as they can of the details asked for under those headings. I am satisfied that certain important details which are not provided for in the existing form can be readily extracted from the existing accounts, and that labour and trouble can be saved by giving in the new form information which has hitherto been given on supplementary forms. But it has been decided to waive in respect of the year 1921–22 so much of the details asked for in the new form as cannot be given without a laborious dissection of the accounts, and to accept for that year the totals of the several headings itemised to such an extent as the present account books allow. It has also been decided to dispense with the column headed "Amount of rate in the£ of amount levied" which appears on pages 6 and 14 of the form. I regret that any dissatisfaction should have arisen on this matter, and that local education authorities should have any reason for complaining that they were not consulted. But it is so important, especially in present circumstances, that the Board should be able, not only for their own purposes but also for the information of Parliament and the local education authorities themselves, to keep track of the components of local educational expenditure as between one year and another and summarise them in a form conducive to intelligent administration, that in the public interest I feel sure that I am justified in appealing to local education authorities to do their best to make their returns in the new form for 1921–22