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Schools (Books And Equipment)

Volume 128: debated on Thursday 25 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what additional moneys he intends to allocate to education authorities in Scotland for spending on school books and equipment; and how he will monitor the situation so as to ensure that these moneys are spent on books and equipment.

Provision is made for local authorities' expenditure on non-teaching costs (including books and equipment) within the total planned for local authority current expenditure, on which the determination of rate support grant is based. For 1988–89 planned provision for non-teaching costs is £466·2 million, an increase of 4·6 per cent. over the corresponding amount for 1987–88. Authorities have complete discretion to spend these resources as they think fit.The Government have enhanced provision for local authority capital allocations by £2 million in 1987–88 and £3 million in 1988–89, specifically to support the introduction of secondary school science and technology courses. Authorities will be asked how these allocations have been used. It is intended to increase the specific grant available for expenditure on education in deprived areas in 1988–89 by £1·1 million for the purchase of books and equipment. This expenditure will be monitored under arrangements to be agreed.