HC Deb 18 December 1970 vol 808 cc465-6W
Mr. Gordon Walker

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action the Government have taken on Resolution (70)19 adopted on 5th June, 1970, by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and relating to educational and cultural uses of radio and television in Europe and the relations in this respect between public authorities and broadcasting organisations.

Mrs. Thatcher

The Government has taken careful note of this Resolution. The present position in the United Kingdom is as follows. The provision of cultural and educational broadcasts is laid down in the Charter of the British Broadcasting Corporation which already has links with appropriate cultural and educational organisations. The links to cultural organisations are usually informal, but under the requirements of its charter those on educational broadcasting are formal through such bodies as the Schools Broadcasting Council and the Further Education Advisory Council on which the Education Departments are represented.

Links on the Independent Television side are along similar lines and the two sides have informal consultative channels to prevent overlap of educational broadcasts. The responsibility for providing receivers and other equipment in schools lies with the local education authorities and the rôle of the Education Departments is an advisory one exercised mainly in this connection through H.M. Inspectorate. Virtually all schools have radio receivers and at least 60 per cent. television sets; distribution of television sets is uneven and is influenced to some extent by variation in quality of reception. Most schools have sound recording equipment and the installation of video recording equipment is gathering momentum; the comparatively high cost of the latter is a significant factor.