HC Deb 03 July 1947 vol 439 cc1483-4
15 and 16. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Education (1) how many independent schools have offered local education authorities places for pupils in the schools under their control; what is the number of these places; and how many have been taken up;

(2) how many local education authorities have taken up places in independent schools for pupils in schools under their control; and how many have taken no action in this matter.

Mr. Tomlinson

Of the 358 places offered by 103 recognised efficient secondary boarding schools to the Committee on Boarding Education for use in September next by local education authorities generally, 65 have so far been allocated in response to requests received by the Committee from 10 authorities. In addition, some local education authorities are taking up places under arrangements made directly with the schools.

Mr. Lipson

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the independent schools are co-operating very well in this matter, and can he explain why so small a proportion of the places offered have been taken up? Is it due to the tact that many local authorities cannot afford the expense, and, if so, will he go to their assistance?

Mr. Tomlinson

I do not think that is the case. It is due, in the main, to the fact that the notices were not received by the local authorities in time to enable them to make the necessary arrangements.

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

Can it also be that some of the local authorities are not prepared to see their best pupils "creamed off" from the grammar schools, thereby lowering the system of public secondary education?

Mr. Tomlinson

Neither is it our desire, in the operation of this scheme, that the best students should be "creamed off"

Mr. Wilson Harris

In view of the advantage to public schools by the addition of pupils from primary schools, will the right hon. Gentleman use all his influence with the local education authorities to see that these vacant places are taken up, so far as is possible?

Mr. Tomlinson

Yes, sir