HC Deb 19 January 1967 vol 739 cc108-9W
Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is the difference between the original forecast of educational expenditure by local authorities for 1967–68 and 1968–69, and the amount accepted as relevant expenditure for rate support grant;

(2) to what extent he expects a slowing down of educational expansion as a result of local authority estimates for 1967–68 and 1968–69 being reduced for grant purposes;

(3) which items of estimated educational expenditure by local authorities for 1967–68 and 1968–69 have been reduced in order to keep total expenditure within the limits set out in House of Commons Paper No. 252, Local Government Finance (England and Wales).

Mr. Crosland

The difference between the local authorities' forecasts of educational expenditure and the sums accepted as relevant for Rate Support Grant were about £45 million in 1967–68 and £49 million in 1968–69.

In arriving at the figures for education in Appendix A of House of Commons Paper No. 252 reductions were made in the local authorities forecasts for administration; non-teaching costs in primary and secondary schools; special education; further education; teacher training; the school health service; the youth service; adult, recreational and other services; awards to students; fees at independent and direct grant schools; school transport; and school meals. Increases were made in the forecasts for teachers' salaries in primary and secondary schools.

Some of the changes were made to correct authorities' estimates of numbers of teachers [pupils] and students, others because the rate of development envisaged appeared to be more rapid than was reasonable, having regard to general economic conditions.

On the assumption that the pattern corresponds to the figures given in Appendix A—actual expenditure will depend on decisions of local authorities—local authority expenditure on education will increase at constant prices by about 6 per cent. a year between 1965–66 and 1968–69. This is in line with the annual rate of increase of educational expenditure forecast in the National Plan and should enable the expansion of the service envisaged in the Plan to be achieved. The nature of this expansion is described in paragraphs 13–16 of House of Commons Paper No. 252.