21. Mrs. RUNCIMAN
asked the President of the Board of Education whether the closing of Warminster and other secondary schools under reorganisation schemes of local education authorities has his approval; and, if not, whether he will take steps to secure that areas shall not be deprived of the benefit of secondary education which they now enjoy?
§ Lord E. PERCY
In the special circumstances of the ease, I have approved the closure of Warminster County Secondary School, but no other proposals of this kind have reached me and, in the absence of quite exceptional circumstances, I should deprecate such proposals. The problem of reorganising schools so as to provide adequate opportunities for education both of the "Modern School" type and of the existing secondary school type is admittedly difficult, especially in rural areas; but the problem will, I believe, find a natural and easy solution when both types are recognised, by law and regulation, as coming with the general description of higher education and, pending a solution on these lines, which I hope will be realised before long, local authorities will, I think, be well advised, as a general rule, to avoid changes in the status of their secondary schools.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the meantime 70 out of the 100 children who were attending the Warminster school will no longer get the benefit of secondary education, and will have to attend a school working under elementary conditions both as regards the staff and the size of the classes?
§ Lord E. PERCY
So far as these 70 children are concerned, it will be remembered that the vast majority of the pupils at this particular school stay at the school beyond the age at which they would be eligible for a secondary school, and that was one of the exceptional circumstances of this case.