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Volume 496: debated on Thursday 28 February 1952

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asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware of the need to maintain the supply of books and essential material for educational purposes; and what action she intends to take on the proposals of the Northamptonshire Education Committee to reduce their forecast expenditure for 1952–53 by cutting £5,082 from the provision for books, stationery and materials in primary schools, £2,227 from the similar provision for secondary schools, 12½ per cent. from the provision for county library books and all provision for an additional book van for the schools library service.

Yes. I told local education authorities in Circular 242 that I expected proper standards of teaching to be maintained both by the employment of adequate teaching staff and by the supply of books, essential materials, and apparatus. I understand that even after the reductions quoted had been made by Northamptonshire in their forecast of expenditure for 1952–53 the amounts allowed for books, stationery and materials would still be substantially greater than those included in their estimates for the current year.