HC Deb 16 December 1986 vol 107 cc457-8W
Mr. Waller

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what basis he proposes to close the education pools for 1981–82.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

I propose to close these pools in the next financial year. I have been advised that the method used in previous stages of their operation to apportion between local education authorities expenditure within the capped pool for advanced further education was unlawful. However, this method was agreed in 1980 between the Government and representatives of the local education authorities in good faith, and the allocations flowing from it have been used by authorities in making budgets and rates. Accordingly, following consultation with the local authority associations, the Government propose to legislate in the present Session of Parliament to validate past stages in the allocation of the 1981–82 capped pool, and to enable it to be closed broadly on the basis originally envisaged. The method in question was used only for 1981–82 and the legislation will apply only to pooling in that year.