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Education Support Grants

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 11 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the increased volume of underspending on education support grants 1988–89 shown in Class XII Vote 1; and what changes have been made for 1989–90 and 1990–91.

The size of each year's Vote for education support grants (ESGs) depends not on the overall total for that year's ESG programme, but rather on the amount of grant still to be paid in respect of previous years' ESG programmes as well as the amount expected to be paid within the financial year on the current year's programme. The size of the underspend on a given year's Vote will reflect both the success of local education authorities in submitting grant claims promptly, and the size of successive ESG programmes. To increase the proportion of grant paid during the financial year in which the expenditure is incurred, authorites will from this year on be invited to submit, before the end of the financial year in question, a claim for expenditure incurred during the last quarter, 50 per cent. of which may be paid before the year end.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a list of those local education authorities which, in respect of education support grant claims for 1988–89 (a) have claimed significantly less than the maximum allocated amount for that year or (b) have not yet made either final claims for all quarters of 1987–88 or a provisional end-of-year claim, showing for each of (a) and (b) the amount underspent or apparently unclaimed.

It is for individual local education authorities to determine whether they wish to claim all the education support grant (ESG) allocated to them. Among the 90 authorities in England who have to date submitted final claims for the 1988–89 programme, the average rate of claim is over 90 per cent. of expenditure approved. But 15 of those authorities have claimed grant on less than 85 per cent. of expenditure approved. The details are:

Amount of approved expenditure not spent
LEA£
Barnet132,138
Enfield268,731
Haringey156,627
Newham160,300
Birmingham417,246
Walsall152,365
Sefton241,707

LEA

£

Tameside146,750
Wigan286,400
South Tyneside257,770
Berkshire394,718
Buckinghamshire299,131
Devon427,668
Kent591,877
Lincolnshire235,627

In addition, seven local education authorities have not yet submitted a final claim. They are:

Amount of approved expenditure on which grant has not yet been claimed

Local education authorities

£

Merton97,459
Waltham Forest175,655
Leeds392,800
Hertfordshire765,707
Norfolk367,590
Northamptonshire999,860
Oxfordshire384,519

All authorities have now submitted final claims for 1987–88.