§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is his policy on determining a ceiling for the amount of education support grants in 1990–91 as a percentage of any other amount or by any other formula; and if he will make a statement;
(2) whether special purpose grants payable to grant-maintained schools for purposes equivalent to education support grants will be taken into account for the purpose of maintaining a ceiling to the total annual amount of education support grants; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
In the light of the Local Government Finance Act and the White Paper "A New Planning Total" (Cm 441), my right hon. Friend intends to amend existing legislation so as to bring arrangements for determining the size of the education support grant (ESG) programme in line with those for the larger in-service teacher training grant programme. He has agreed to meet the local authority associations very soon to discuss the size and content of the 1990–91 ESG programme. As the intention is that there will no longer be a statutory ceiling on the programme, the question whether equivalent grant to grant-maintained schools is within or outside that ceiling does not arise.