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Education Support Grants

Volume 115: debated on Thursday 7 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish his proposals for the programme of education support grants in 1988–89.

I have written today to the local authority associations proposing expenditure of £115·5 million on this programme next year—that is £75·5 million for the continuing support of projects begun in earlier years and £40 million for new projects. The purposes for which I propose to pay grant are listed in the table. The new starts fall into five broad terms.To improve the school curriculum I propose to extend support for the employment of advisory teachers in science and technology for the primary schools, and to pursue the recommendations of the Cockroft report on mathematics

Expenditure (£ million at assumed 1988–89 prices)
Activitynewcontinuingarising from 1988–89 startsarising from earlier starts
New Starts
School curriculum
(1) Primary science2·96·25·11·6
(2) Maths in schools4·62·88·6
(3) Records of achievement1·21·2
(4) Alternative first foreign language0·30·5
(5) Education for multi-ethnic society1·41·42·00·5
Health and special needs
(6) Portage schemes1·12·01·10·6
(7) Drugs misuse2·30·2
Further education: curriculum and support
(8) Educational needs of the unemployed0·90·90·20·1
(9) Learning by achievement1·02·6
(10) Open learning1·01·2
(11) Computer-aided engineering2·1
Information technology
(12) IT in NAFE0·24·60·24·3
(13) IT in schools19·010·0

teaching. I also propose pilot projects to develop records of achievement for school leavers, to encourage schools to try alternatives to French as the first foreign language offered to pupils, and to prepare all pupils for life in a mult-ethnic society.

In the field of special needs I propose to offer more LEAs support for the establishment of teams to help parents with the education of handicapped pupils under five, and to continue the work of preventing drug misuse among young people.

In further education I propose new starts in four activities. These are designed to open educational opportunities to adults, to stimulate new forms of provision for young people in the cities, and to equip technical colleges to teach computer-aided engineering.

I propose to devote almost half of the expenditure on new starts, £19 million, to the expansion of information technology in the schools. Information technology has already shown its potential to improve the education of school pupils of all ages and in most subjects. I seek now to spread its benefits more widely through the provision to schools of more microcomputers, and more advisory teachers.

Finally, I propose support for the instalment of management information systems in further education establishments.

Grant would be paid at the rate of 70 per cent. on expenditure approved for 1989 in all these activities except the third (records of achievement), where I propose a rate of 50 per cent. I have invited views from the local authority associations on the question of the wider use of the 50 per cent. rate in future years; and on my proposals to encourage authorities to supplement the public expenditure on information technology in schools and computer-aided engineering with private contributions.

When I have completed consultations with the local authority associations, I shall lay before the House the necessary amendments to the education support grant regulations, and issue a circular inviting local education authorities to bid for the programme.






arising from 1988–89 starts

arising from earlier starts

Management in education

(14) Management information in FE colleges2·03·2
Total New Starts40·018·135·97·1

Activities Continuing Without New Starts

(15) Supervision of pupils at midday40·540·5
(16) Urban primary schools0·60·4
(17) Rural primary schools1·61·6
(18) Appraisal of school teachers2·2
(19) Books and equipment for GCSE10·0
(20) Spoken word0·40·4
(21) Social responsibility1·41·4
(22) PICKUP0·70·2
Total Continuing Activities57·444·5
Total Yearly Expenditure£115·5 million£87·5 million