§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what factors he bases the sum of £20 million as being a suitable figure for introducing the general certificate of secondary education examinations into the school curriculum later in the current year; and how many staff he expected to be able to train to aid this process within the £200,000 sum he is allocating for staff training.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
My right hon. Friend's proposal to pay education support grant up to a total of £20 million is intended to support expenditure on books and equipment for the GCSE. It is not intended to represent the total relevant expenditure, but will allow local education authorities to fund a real increase in meeting the demands brought by the new GCSE syllabuses. It is not possible to draw up precise estimates for the expenditure involved as these will vary from school to school in the light of present stocks, past provision for examination syllabuses and present choice of GCSE syllabuses.
The Government are making a contribution of over £9.5 million to the national programme of in-service training for the GCSE. The additional sum of £200,000, announced by my right hon. Friend, is intended to enable the groups to mount additional training seminars for those subject representatives who have so far failed to attend them. The action that the Government have taken, 490W including allowing schools to close to pupils for two days in this summer term for training purposes, will allow all teachers of the GCSE to undertake GCSE in-service training.