HC Deb 04 March 1975 vol 887 cc347-8W
35. Mr. Marks

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied that the capitation allowances made to schools by local education authorities for stationery, text and library books and other educational materials is adequate; and if he will make recommendations to the authorities.

49. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about the provision of textbooks in schools in view of the increase in publishing costs and the pressure for economies in local education authority budgets.

Mr. Armstrong

Correspondence from many areas shows that standards of provision for textbooks and other materials in 1974–75 have been lower in real terms than in 1973–74. This was a consequence of the economy measures introduced in 1973 by the previous Government, combined with the effects of rapid inflation. The rate support grant settlement for 1975–76 provides for an increase in expenditure on the education service, in real terms, to take account of the increased number of pupils and to allow for a modest improvement in levels of non-teaching costs over the 1973–74 level, including expenditure on textbooks and other items covered by capitation allowances. It is for each local education authority, however, to take its own decisions according to local circumstances and the needs of its schools.