HC Deb 31 October 1946 vol 428 cc757-8
4. Mr. George Wallace

asked the Minister of Education how many schools in England and Wales have been condemned as unfit for use between August, 1945, and the nearest date; and how many of such schools are situated in rural areas.

Miss Wilkinson

Since 1st August, 1945, 14 schools in England and Wales have been closed wholly or mainly on account of defective premises. Nine of the 14 schools are in rural areas. In addition, nine other schools have been temporarily discontinued owing to defects in their premises, and of these five are in rural areas.

Mr. Wallace

Is the right hon. Lady aware that many of our rural schools exist in an atmosphere of patronage, cant and humbug, and that the conditions of many are an appalling disgrace to the nation?

Mr. O. Poole

Is the right hon. Lady also aware that we attach very great importance to these rural schools and disagree entirely with the remarks that have just been made?

Mr. Alpass

Is it not a fact that a very large number of these schools—much exceeding the number the right hon. Lady has suggested—have been condemned as unfit and have been in a most unsatisfactary condition for many years? Will the right hon. Lady take active steps to see that the authorities put them in a condition which will make them fit for children to attend?

Miss Wilkinson

All these questions may be very true, but they are not on the Order Paper.