§ 35. Mr. Rowe
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied that schools will be able to provide candidates for the new General Certificate of Secondary Education examination with sufficient textbooks and other teaching material, particularly in English, in time for the first examination.
§ Mr. Dunn
The Department does not foresee the need for wholesale replacement of existing materials. In most cases, the need will be, rather, for existing materials and the ways in which they are used to be adapted over time in the light of the new examination system and the other curricular developments which are constantly taking place. Successive RSG settlements have provided scope for local education authorities to improve their provision of school books and equipment in line with the priority that the Government have consistently accorded to this area. The 1985–86 settlement, for example, would allow most authorities, provided that other expenditure is firmly controlled, to immprove levels of provision per pupil compared to 1982–83, the latest year for which firm spending figures are available and one which showed a significant increase in levels of provision of books and equipment. Individual authorities will undoubtedly wish to take account of the changes in the national examination system when reaching decisions on the allocation of resources. The Government consider, too, that the manuals and videos which the Secondary Examinations Council and the examining groups are preparing for all secondary schools and colleges as part of the in-service training programme will make a major contribution to the necessary updating of teaching materials.