HC Deb 14 June 1945 vol 411 cc1758-9
22. Sir Percy Harris

asked the Minister of Education whether anything more can be done towards paying travelling expenses when children live a long way from their denominational or other suitable schools; and whether these facilities will be made as wide as possible.

Mrs. Cazalet Keir

Administrative Memorandum No. 63 issued on 1st June, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy, has explained fully to local education authorities their duties and powers in this matter under Section 55 of the Education Act, 1944.

Sir P. Harris

Is the hon. Lady aware that many local authorities have strictly limited the distance which children can travel on free transport, which in many cases has resulted in their going to a school which the parents do not desire—I refer to denominational schools? Will she look into the matter?

Mrs. Keir

I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree that it is important that the arrangements made under Section 55 (1) should be in harmony with Section 76 of the Act.

Mr. Ede

Will the hon. Lady undertake to see that the development plans are examined to ensure that the provisions specified in Section 55 are clearly set out and are generous?

Mrs. Keir

Yes, Sir.

Major Sir George Davies

Is the hon. Lady aware that in many districts in the country, children just a few months over five years old are expected to walk long distances to get to school because it is inside a certain restricted area; and as in many cases those lines of approach have been widened right up to the banks on either side and there are buses and so forth travelling along those roads, such children are in imminent danger? Is there no possibility of my hon. Friend making provision to have those restrictions modified?