HC Deb 18 March 1981 vol 1 cc136-8W
Mr. Bendall

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about the future of the slide loan service at the Victoria and Albert museum.

Mr. Channon

The Government announced last year that the Victoria and Albert museum will not be operating the slide loan service after March 1981. Since I took up my present office I have been considering the future of this service, bearing in mind its importance to schools, colleges and adult education. After looking at a number of suggestions for ensuring its continuing existence I have asked the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries to take over responsibiity for the service from the beginning of April and to let me know in due course if in its opinion other management arrangements ought to be considered in the longer term. For the present the service will continue to operate in its premises in the Victoria and Albert museum.

I have in mind some further enlargement of the standing commission's functions in due course; I hope that an announcement about this will be made later in the year.