§ Mr. Bowis
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what have been the education support grants and other grants for spending on books in each of the past 12 years and the forward plans for the next three; and in what way the need for expenditure on books is accounted for in the rate/revenue support grant.
§ Mr. Fallon
Education support grants started in 1984–85. They are allocated to local education authorities for a range of spending priorities. ESGs have been available specifically to support expenditure on books and equipment related to the GCSE; and currently ESGs are available to support expenditure on books for the national curriculum. The expenditure supported by these grants has been:
£ million GCSE books and equipment: 1986–87 14.1 1987–88 10.0 1988–89 10.0 National curriculum books: 1991–92 15.0
The ESG programme is decided each year. The Secretary of State's proposals for 1992–93, announced on 3 May 1991, included support for further expenditure of £15 million on books for the national curriculum.
The Government make assumptions about the appropriate level of education spending, including spending on books and equipment, as part of the annual local authority financing settlement. The revenue support 15W grant allocated to authorities is not earmarked for particular purposes such as spending on books, and it is therefore for individual LEAs and schools to decide their own spending priorities within the overall resources available.