§ 28. Mr. RANKIN
asked the President of the Board of Education what percentage of elementary and secondary schools, respectively, make regular use of the educational programmes for schools provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation; whether it is proposed to equip every school with a wireless receiving set in the near future; and, if so, what will be the approximate cost of such installation?
No official return has been called for of schools which listen regularly to the educational programmes of the British Broadcasting Corporation, but I understand that the register of schools known to be listening-in, which is kept by the Central Council for School Broadcasting, shows that about 10 per cent. of the total number of elementary departments make use of the wireless for educational purposes. The figure for secondary schools is estimated to be 20 per cent. The installation of a receiving set in a school is primarily a matter 538 for the local education authority or the governing body concerned, but the Board would be glad to see the use of the wireless in educational institutions extended. There are so many variable factors involved that it is not possible to make any reliable estimate of the cost of equipping all schools with receiving sets. The expenditure might be in the neighbourhood of £400,000.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that it would be advisable to obtain the advice of those who have had practical experience of the work in the schools, so as to find out what subjects are suitable for the schools and what subjects are not suitable, and what suggestions can be made to improve the programmes for schools; and does he not think that the time has arrived to set up a Departmental committee to inquire into the question?
§ Mr. GLOSSOP
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the recent report of the British Broadcasting Corporation they expressed regret that so few schools at the present time make use of their broadcasting?