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Primary Schools (Pupil Costs)

Volume 20: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much was spent per pupil in primary schools in England in real terms in the most recent year for which figures are available.

Net institutional recurrent expenditure per primary pupil in England in 1980–81 was £547, the highest level ever recorded, both in cash and real terms.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that those figures show that the Opposition talk a great deal of nonsense when they talk about cuts in primary education expenditure?

My hon. Friend is quite right, but we should remember that there are difficulties in schools, because falling rolls involve diseconomies of scale, and there is mismatch. We should not be euphoric, although we should always remember that in real terms there was a record level of expenditure per child in that year.

As the Secretary of State has not communicated the information to his hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science, the hon. Member for Brent, North (Dr. Boyson), will he tell the House when he intends to publish the report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate on education standards in schools in England and Wales?

Although that is a different question, I am glad to repeat that I shall publish the report as soon as I receive it.