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Volume 931: debated on Monday 9 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is her policy towards the allocation of financial and teaching resources to the education of immigrant children in the light of public expenditure restraints; and what recent advice she has given to local education authorities on this matter.

The policy set out in paragraph 38 of a Joint Departmental Circular (DES 14/76) is to provide sufficient resources for the average staffing ratios in primary, secondary and special schools in the country as a whole to be maintained. There is, however, provision under Section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 for specific grant to be paid to authorities with substantial numbers of Commonwealth immigrants in respect of the salary costs of additional staff they employ in consequence of differences of language or custom—an entitlement of which authorities are aware and, I hope, will continue to make good use.