HC Deb 24 March 1999 vol 328 cc288-9W
Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the effect on local authority museums' school programmes of the further delegation of funding to schools. [76640]

Ms Estelle Morris

Local education authorities are not required to delegate funding for school museum services in 1999–2000, except to grant-maintained schools. From April 2000, we intend to require them to delegate funding for school library and museum services to secondary schools; in the case of primary and special schools, our intention is that any funding for these services which is not delegated should be passed to the schools on an earmarked basis, which will enable the schools to decide whether to buy the services from their own or another authority.

We are committed to encouraging museums and galleries to develop their educational role and strengthen their links with schools, and have recently announced that we shall be making £2.5 million available for this purpose over three years.