Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 120 - 139)



  120. Is your performance tied to visitor numbers?
  (Dr Borg) Visitor numbers is one of many factors.

  121. We shall watch that. Can I ask about visitors by social class. Do you have figures that will give an indication of the social class of your visitors?
  (Dr Borg) Yes we do. That is something that comes out from our visitor surveys.

  122. Is the social profile of your visitors equal or similar to that of the population as a whole?
  (Dr Borg) No, I do not think it is. We have a larger number of the higher level visitors and only ten per cent from the C2, Ds and Es.

  123. How does that compare with comparable museums?
  (Dr Borg) Very much the same.

  124. So you have not made any successful special effort to widen the social base?
  (Dr Borg) When I say very much the same as other museums, I think the proportion the V&A receives is probably better than for C2 Ds and Es than most other museums.

  125. So your previous answer is not right. It is better than other comparable museums. You have figures to back that up, have you?
  (Dr Borg) We have our own figures.

  126. Presumably if you are comparing yourselves with others you have their figures as well?
  (Dr Borg) We have details of some and not of others.

  127. Of those you know how do you compare?
  (Dr Borg) Better in some areas and less good in others.

  128. I am restricting myself to the question of social class and particularly those at the lower end. You are either getting a better spread of those from those classes or not. I do not want "better in some and worse in others". I want to be clear whether or not ordinary, working class people are coming to your museum rather than others.
  (Dr Borg) I am sure we can find comparative figures—

  129. I am not asking you to find them. I am asking you if you know what the position is.
  (Dr Borg) I do not have those figures to hand.

  130. Do you know? It strikes me that this is not an issue that you have bothered to consider much. Would that be unfair?
  (Dr Borg) Could you repeat that?

  131. It strikes me that this is not an issue you have bothered to consider much. Would that be unfair?
  (Dr Borg) It would be unfair.

  132. Why did you not know?
  (Dr Borg) Because I am afraid I do not but it would be unfair to suggest that it is not important.

  133. Maybe we could get the figures, Chairman[7]. Can I ask in terms of school visits, do you have a substantial number of school visits from local authority schools? Is the balance of visits from local authority schools equivalent to the balance of visits from those schools in the community as a whole?

  (Dr Borg) We have a substantial number of visits from local authority schools, many more than we have from other forms of school.

  134. That was not the question I asked, with respect. I asked about the proportions. Was the proportion equivalent to the proportion of these schools in the community as a whole?
  (Dr Borg) We have some 45,000 children in groups coming from schools each year[8].

  135. That was not what I asked you either.
  (Dr Borg) I am afraid I do not entirely understand the question.

  136. There are schools in the community as a whole, there is a proportion that are private schools and a proportion that are council schools. You have a lot of schools coming to visit you some of which will be private schools and some council schools. I am asking whether or not the proportion of council schools you have visiting your Museum reflects the proportion in the community.
  (Dr Borg) We do not have the data available on what sort of schools they are.

  137. So you have not actually tried to make sure that you are marketing the school visits, the educational visits to those from the poorer end of the community?
  (Dr Borg) Yes, we send information about our educational programme very widely to all schools that request it.

  138. But all schools who request it.
  (Dr Borg) And also more broadly in London and the South East obviously.

  139. You do not measure the response of who comes?
  (Dr Borg) Not specifically, no.

7   Note: See Evidence, Appendix 2, page 17 (PAC 00-01/113). Back

8   Note: See Evidence, Appendix 1, page 16 (PAC 00-01/127). Back

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 13 July 2001