§ Mr. John Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) if she will make a statement on the increase in Barnet's education standard spending assessment in 1997–98; 
(2) if she will make a statement on the (a) amount and (b) percentage of Barnet local education authority's education budget spent centrally; and what are the average national figures. 
§ Mr. Robin Squire
Barnet's 1997–98 education standard spending assessment is £119.1 million which, after adjustments are made to take account of the nursery voucher scheme, represents a year on year increase of some £5.3 million or 4.6 per cent.
It is up to local authorities to set their education budgets within the resources at their disposal, and capping limits. Barnet's 1996–97 education budget was £126.5 million, which was 8.1 per cent. above its education SSA— £117 million. Nationally, local authorities set their 1996–97 education budgets at an average of 4.0 per cent. 879W above their education SSAs. Details of local authorities' final expenditure on education in the current year are not yet available.