§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many means-tested schemes are run by his Department; if he will give in tabular form details of the number of children claiming such benefits; and if he will give comparable data for 1979.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
The Department is responsible for the assisted places scheme and for the music and ballet scheme, both of which came into operation in September 1981. The number of pupils claiming fee remission in the academic year 1986–87 was as follows:
Number of pupils Assisted places scheme 22,853 Music and ballet scheme 496
Local education authorities operate their own schemes of assistance to pupils, for example, for school clothing, and are required to offer free school meals to certain pupils. The numbers receiving free school meals were:
Number of pupils October 1979 899,000 October 1986 1,144,000
Details of the take-up of other schemes run by local education authorities are not available.