HC Deb 20 April 1950 vol 474 cc37-8W
73 and 74. Mr. Teeling

asked the Minister of Education (1) whether he is satisfied that under the proposed arrangements for reducing the cost of the Further Education and Training Scheme there will be no material reduction in the number of students and especially of students whose parents cannot afford to pay for them; and what steps he is taking to guard against this happening;

(2) how far the proposed reduction of over £3 million in the further education and training grants which is proposed for the forthcoming financial year will be offset in practice by an increase in the amounts available for State scholarships, aids to students at training schools and university supplementary awards.

Mr. Tomlinson

The decrease in the provision made for the Further Education and Training Scheme in my Estimates for 1950–51 is due solely to the normal running down of this scheme for ex-Service students and implies no reduction in either the scope or the value of the awards made under it.

When the termination of the scheme was announced, I appointed a Working Party to advise me on the arrangements which should take its place. In accordance with the recommendations of this Working Party, steps have been taken and continue to be taken to expand the system of State scholarships, university supplemental awards and awards made by local education authorities. Increased provision is accordingly made in my Estimates for 1950–51 for these purposes. It is not to be expected that this increased provision will fully offset the reduction in expenditure on the Further Education and Training Scheme; for one thing, many awards under this scheme are held by older students and include allowances for wives and other dependants.

The Working Party suggested that about 7,000 local education authority awards would be required, on the assumption that the four-year grants for teachers had been abolished. In fact, the number of new awards granted by local education authorities in 1949 was already 7,131. I see no reason therefore to expect that any material decrease in the number of students at Universities next October will result from the changed arrangements for grants to students of the requisite standard who are accepted by Universities and need assistance.

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