asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether a fund will be established to help self-financed students who suffer hardship as a result of the increase in students' fees.
There is no specific fund, but an allowance has been made both in the rate support grant settlement for 1977–78 and in the universities recurrent grant for 1977–78 which I expect to announce shortly. Local authorities, universities and colleges are asked to consider sympathetically cases of hardship. The detailed arrangements are left to their discretion.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will issue a circular of advice to local authorities on their practice in awarding discretionary grants for higher education in order to ensure a uniform practice throughout the country; and if she will make a statement.
Local education authorities are free to determine their own policies on discretionary awards, but my Department has issued notes for guidance which give some general advice. My officials will be meeting the local authority associations shortly to discuss the extent to which the position on discretionary awards can be monitored.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she next intends to hold a comprehensive review of student grants, with special reference to the parental means test; and if she will make a statement.
My Department is at present carrying out a review of student grants, including the parental contribution scale. I hope to make an announcement before the end of this month about grants for the academic year 1977–78.