§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it his policy to provide an equal level of funding for each school pupil; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Fallon
The schools component of standard spending assessments (SSAs) is already largely based on pupil numbers, but with an allowance, equivalent to about 20 per cent. of standard spending for schools, for the additional cost of educating pupils in areas of relative deprivation and for the relatively high labour costs of London and the south east. Authorities are not bound by SSAs, but are free to make their own decisions about total spending on schools and the distribution of funding between schools and between pupils, subject to the current LMS requirement that at least 75 per cent. of funds delegated to schools must be distributed with reference to pupil numbers. My right hon. Friend welcomes indications that LEAs are beginning to take action to narrow the gap between spending levels per pupil in the primary and secondary phases.