HC Deb 22 March 1945 vol 409 cc979-80
38. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Minister of Education whether his attention has been called to the anxiety roused by the proposal that a single governing body should be formed by a local education authority for a large number of secondary schools; and whether he will make it clear that such an arrangement is undesirable on educational grounds.

Mr. Butler

Section 20, of the Education Act gives the local education authority discretion to constitute a single governing body for two or more schools subject, in the case of the managers or governors. While it is of the first importance that every governing body should be conversant with the particular conditions and problems of individual schools, it would not be possible, particularly in view of the very large number of schools classed as secondary under the Act, to adopt a policy of separate governing bodies for every school irrespective of circumstances. I would invite my hon. Friend's attention to para- graph 13 of the White Paper on "Principles of Government in Maintained Secondary Schools,"of which I am sending him a copy.

Mr. Harvey

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that it is most undesirable that a large number of schools should be placed under one governing body, as this would make it impossible for the governors to have the necessary knowledge and. personal contact with the schools?

Mr. Butler

I think there is a lot to be said for certain schools with traditions having other schools so to speak attached to them and keeping a nucleus of governors to look after the interests of the one school, and having other governors to look after the interests of the other schools.

Mr. Moelwyn Hughes

Does the Minister not recollect that this matter was discussed during the passage of the Education Act, in the Committee stage, and. that he and his Parliamentary Secretary assured us that it was not the intention to operate it in order to create governors for a large body of schools?

Mr. Butler

If my hon. and learned Friend refers to the Debates he will see that the policy as set out in the "Principles of Government in Maintained Secondary Schools" was maintained by Ministers in the course of the Debates on the Bill.

Mr. Lindsay

Will the Minister see that in no case is the local education authority the governing body for all the secondary schools in the area?

Mr. Butler

Certainly. That is another matter, and is not implied in this Paper, a copy of which I will also send to the hon. Member.

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