HC Deb 15 March 1982 vol 20 cc42-3W
Mr. Ian Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will publish a detailed analysis of the basis on which he has advised Hampshire county council that the target savings figure that should accompany the elimination of a school place as a result of falling rolls is £100 per place.

Dr. Boyson

Circular 2/81 on falling rolls, which was sent to all local education authorities last year, included an estimate that savings of £10 million might be expected for every 100,000 surplus places taken out of use. This figure is an average and not a target for savings from particular closures of surplus places, which may be expected to vary widely according to the circumstances of particular schools and particular authorities. The average figure of £100 was obtained from the non-teaching costs forcasting model, developed and operated by the department of Education and Science in collaboration with the local authority Associations.

The model divides non-teaching costs into four categories, of which the one relevant to estimating the savings from the closure of surplus places is buildings related expenditure. This includes premises-related staff (eg school caretakers), buildings maintenance, fuel and cleaning, rents, rates and furniture. Local education authorities' actual buildings-related expenditure derived from their revenue outturn of expenditure is divided by the number of school places to produce an estimated cost per place and hence saving per place taken out of use. On the basis of acutal buildings-related expenditure in 1980–81 the estimated average savings per surplus place taken out of use remains close to £100.

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