HC Deb 12 December 1983 vol 50 cc310-1W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to the reply to the hon. Member for Stoke on Trent, Central (Mr. Fisher) on 21 November, Official Report, c. 43, which authorities and which schools give him cause for concern about the level of provision of books.

Mr. Dunn

Two main considerations underlay my statement. Firstly, the HMI report on "The Effects of Local Authority Expenditure Policies on the Education Service in England-1982" indicated that in autumn 1982, as in previous years, the quantity and use of appropriate text books and/or library books was less than satisfactory in some schools and in some authorities. Secondly, analysis of authorities' expenditure up to 1981–82 showed that there had been some increase in the provision of new books per primary pupil but that the provision of new books per secondary pupil had been falling with wide variations between authorities. That is why, within the Government's expenditure plans for 1984–85, most authorities in aggregate should be able to improve the provision of new books compared with the 1981–82 level if they can contain their costs.

Mr. Fisher

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what money has been spent on the provision of books in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each of the past 10 years.

Mr. Dunn

Local education authority recurrent expenditure on the provision of books in England, as derived from local education authorities returns to DOE on form RO1, was as follows:

£ million
Financial Year Primary Schools Secondary Schools
1972–73 9.1 12.3
1973–74 10.2 14.0
1974–75 11.6 15.5
1975–76 14.1 18.6
1976–77 15.4 21.5
1977–78 16.8 24.2
1978–79 19.1 27.7
1979–80 20.3 30.2
1980–81 22.1 31.1
1981–82 23.5 32.8