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Education Reform

Volume 127: debated on Thursday 11 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what statement of policy he has made concerning reductions in educational provision in respect of schools, colleges of further and higher education, careers advice and adult education institutes, respectively, which are currently the responsibility of the Inner London education authority.

My right hon. Friend announced on 4 February, at columns 1178–79, the Government's proposals for education in inner London. Under those proposals each inner London council will become the local education authority for its area, responsible as such—subject to any co-operative arrangements between councils— for the provision of the services to which the hon. Member refers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has made any calculations on the effect on the rate support grant of the proposed abolition of the Inner London education authority; and if he will make a statement.

The Government propose that the Inner London education authority should be wound up and education responsibilities transferred to local borough councils from 1 April 1990. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment proposes to introduce from the same date new arrangements for the finance of local government. Under the provisions of the Local Government Finance Bill, rate support grant will be replaced by a new grant to local authorities, to be known as revenue support grant; rate support grant will not be payable after the financial year 1989–90. The distribution of revenue support grant will take account of the responsibilities of the inner London boroughs for education after 1 April 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has made any calculations on the effect on the rate support grant of the proposed abolition of the Inner London education authority in relation to the hand over of such functions as may be given to Hackney borough council.

The Government propose that from I April 1990 rate support grant should be replaced by revenue support grant, as part of the reform of local government finance. Authorities' entitlement to revenue support grant will depend on their assessed needs, which will take account of their responsibilities. Following the transfer of education functions from the Inner London education authority, the needs assessment for Hackney borough council will include an assessment of its need to spend on education. Revenue support grant to the borough will take account of that need.