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Gcse

Volume 114: debated on Tuesday 7 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from the NAS/UWT on the GCSE examination; if he has any plans to alter the funding that has been made available by the Government to local education authorities for this examination; and if he will make a statement.

Discussions were held with NAS/UWT in March as part of the Government's early monitoring of GCSE resourcing. The NAS/UWT's representations were based on a sample survey conducted in the early weeks of GCSE courses. For 1987–88 the Government have made further substantial provision for the GCSE, as detailed in my right hon. Friend's reply of 31 March, at column 447 to my hon. Friend the Member for Erith and Crayford (Mr. Evennett). We will continue to monitor the needs of the GCSE and to make appropriate provision.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from local education authorities about late arrival of materials necessary for the teaching of GCSE in schools.

A small number of local education authorities earlier reported difficulties in taking up their 1986–87 education support grant allocations for GCSE books and equipment, but current indications are that these allocations have been fully taken up before the close of the financial year.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of schools in England have now received all necessary materials for the teaching of the GCSE.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate has reported that, on average, the material resources available in schools are sufficient at this stage. There is concern, however, about the disparity of resources between individual schools. The Government's planned provision for £115 million expenditure on GCSE in 1987–88 will enable local education authorities to meet in full their assessment of further GCSE needs of schools in that year.