HC Deb 13 July 1989 vol 156 cc608-9W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about his policy toward adult literacy and special needs courses.

Mr. Jackson

My right hon. Friend has consistently made clear the high priority which the Government attach to meeting the literacy and numeracy needs of adults. The Department's grant to the adult literacy and basic skills unit (ALBSU) for the current year is £2,724,000. This represents an increase of almost 10 per cent. over the level of grant in the previous year. The BBC will be launching a series of programmes on adult literacy and numeracy in the autumn. The Department and the Training Agency are co-operation with ALBSU to support this initiative.

Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what funds he has made available in each of the last five years for the education of mentally handicapped children.

Mr. Butcher

The majority of Government revenue support for education provided by local authorities is channelled through block grant, which is not hypothecated to services or to particular activities within services. Specific grants are, however, paid in aid of particular educational expenditure under the education support grant programme, and the local education authority training grants scheme (which replaced the in-service teacher training grants). Since 1 April 1985 an estimated total of £45 million of expenditure related to education for children and students with special educational needs, including those with mental handicaps, has been assisted through various activities under these specific grant programmes.