§ 25. Mr. G. M. Thomson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the schemes of educational research for which he at present provides financial support.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. R. Brooman-White)
Exchequer assistance in this field in Scotland is normally channelled through the Scottish Council for Research in Education, an independent body with a distinguished record of work. The work which the Council currently has in hand includes continued research into intelligence and intelligence tests, the teaching of arithmetic and writing, Gaelic speaking in Highland schools and the influence of nursery schools on a child's subsequent educational performance. It has recently made a start to an important project, in co-operation with Edinburgh University, bearing on the educational requirements for success in higher education. In addition, the Scottish Education Department intends to give a measure of direct 1016 assistance to Aberdeen University for research into programmed teaching.
§ Mr. Thomson
While thanking the Minister for that reply and joining him in the tribute to the Scottish Council for Research in Education, may I ask if he does not agree that the sums of money spent on research in education are very small indeed in relation to total public expenditure, that educational research does lag behind research in scientific and industrial matters, and that there are big benefits for the community from spending more money in this way?
§ Mr. Brooman-White
I agree that the total sums are not large, but perhaps the hon. Gentleman will agree that the cash yardstick is not a very accurate one in measuring the effects of educational research. The grant to the Council has been substantially increased, and the Scottish Office is at present working with the Council on an additional programme of practical research.