HC Deb 26 February 1991 vol 186 cc431-2W
Mr. Straw

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if his policy on the funding of grant-maintained schools remains as stated in the letter of the right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker), the then Secretary of State for Education and Science, to the hon. Member for Blackburn on 10 November 1988.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

A grant-maintained school's grant for recurrent expenditure reflects what it would have received for direct costs from its former maintaining authority. It includes an additional amount in respect of LEA central costs and of LEA subsidies for school meals.

In announcing the capital allocations for the grant-maintained sector for 1991–92, we made it clear that our intention was to ensure that schools becoming grant-maintained were set up on a sound basis and were not penalised by past neglect by the LEA. This has led, on average, to relatively higher capital allocations for the grant-maintained sector in 1991–92 than for LEA-maintained schools.

The Government make specific grant payments for staff development and the implementation of the national curriculum to grant-maintained schools and LEAs. Additional amounts of about £13 per pupil are being made available this year to grant-maintained schools to help them lay a foundation of expertise upon which to build.

Transitional grants and other special purpose grants reflecting the particular circumstances of grant-maintained schools continue to be paid: for example, SPG(V) is paid to grant-maintained schools as they are liable for VAT whereas LEAs are not.