HC Deb 12 April 2002 vol 383 c661W
Bob Russell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what checks are made to ensure that local education authorities do not transfer education funds to non-educational activities. [48566]

Mr. Timms

Most of the funding made available to local education authorities by the Government is unhypothecated. In recent years, however, LEAs have been strongly encouraged by the Secretary of State to increase their education budgets annually by an amount at least equal to the increase in their Education Standard Spending Assessments, and the Department monitors the extent to which this target has been achieved. The Education Bill currently before Parliament contains a provision, intended for exceptional use only, empowering my right hon. Friend to set a minimum level for an LEA's schools budget where she considers that the budget proposed by the LEA for a particular year is seriously inadequate.

Specific and special grants from the Government are subject to appropriate audit arrangements, the nature of which varies from grant to grant.