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Adult Education

Volume 640: debated on Thursday 11 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Education what expansion of adult education he will encourage during 1961–62 by increasing the grants to the responsible bodies.

My Department's Vote includes£740,000 for adult education grants for the current year. This is an increase of£28,000 over last year. Most of the increase will be absorbed by unavoidable additional costs, but there will be some margin for new developments proposed by responsible bodies.

Is not this quite inadequate in regard to the right hon. Gentleman's responsibilities under the 1944 Education Act? Is not he aware that the number of staff and the amount of money involved would be quite small to make a considerable increase in the amount of adult education undertaken by responsible bodies? Will he look seriously into this matter?

There are many parts of the education service to which I should like to see more money going, but we have to have priorities, and at the moment I cannot see my way to increasing these grants.

Is it not time that the expansion referred to in the Question was tackled in quite a different way, by greatly improving the status, emoluments and conditions of service of teachers generally, so that British children could compete with foreign children in the educational field?