HC Deb 16 November 1939 vol 353 cc819-20
44. Mr. Dunn

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education how many elementary schools in the West Riding of Yorkshire are not giving fulltime educational facilities; and whether he will give the numbers of schools affected, the numbers of children affected, and the reasons for such curtailment?

Mr. Lindsay

One hundred and eight-one school departments out of a total of 1,063 are not providing full-time education; the number of children affected is 37,462 or 24 per cent. of the total number. The reason for the curtailment of education is, I understand, local objection to the full reopening of the schools concerned until air-raid shelter has been completed.

Mr. Dunn

Is it not a fact that the real reason, as stated in the last part of the reply, is that air-raid shelters are not provided, and will the Minister call the attention of local authorities to the fact that they should be provided when local labour is available to construct them?

Mr. Lindsay

I have already said that, and I will say it again.

Mr. Paling

Are air-raid shelters being constructed in all these cases?

Mr. Lindsay

This is a matter which has been left to the local education authorities. I do not want to go into this ques- tion now, because I am going to deal with it later, particularly with the position in neutral areas. If in some areas they have chosen to go slowly and in some areas faster, it is only for the Board to spur them on to get the schools opened.