HC Deb 07 March 1944 vol 397 cc1875-6
64 and 65. Mr. Kirkwood

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he is aware that children of from five to 11 years of age have to walk three miles, wet or fine, from Muirshearlich to Banavie school along an exposed road; and in view of the fact that no drying accommodation for clothing is available at that school will he institute an omnibus service to take children to and from school;

(2) if he is aware that the school at Banavie is over 100 years old and that the lavatory accommodation there is insanitary and not up to modem standards; and if he will take steps to see that this and other defects in the school buildings are thoroughly remedied.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. Johnston)

Inverness-shire Education Authority do not normally accept responsibility for the conveyance of children residing, as the Muirshearlich children do, at a distance of less than three miles from the nearest school. The authority have, however, endeavoured to arrange for a bus service for children attending Banavie School from Muirshearlich, but I am informed that no local contractor is able to provide a service. The education authority were prepared in 1939 to build a new school at Banavie, but unfortunately the outbreak of war prevented the scheme from being carried out. The Scottish Education Department are in correspondence with the Education Authority regarding conditions at the school, and while I do not think that large expenditure on the existing buildings would be justified at this stage, the Department will give favourable consideration to any proposals which will effect a temporary improvement.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Department urge on authorities that this temporary improvement should be made in view of the bad conditions that exist?

Mr. Johnston

That is implied in my answer.

Mr. Sloan

Is the excuse given by the education authority that a contractor cannot be found considered sufficient to allow the authority to contract out of their obligation to convey the children to school?

Mr. Johnston

I am afraid I did not follow my hon. Friend's Question. The point is that the local authority have been unable to secure local contractors to provide a service.

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