HC Deb 15 July 1948 vol 453 cc1375-6
6. Mr. Morley

asked the Minister of Education how many local education authorities have included comprehensive secondary schools in their development plans; and what is likely to be in the future the number of scholars attending such schools as a percentage of those receiving secondary education.

Mr. Tomlinson

This information could only be obtained by a special examination of all the development plans received. I cannot undertake this at present.

Mr. Morley

Can my right hon. Friend say what steps his Ministry are taking to encourage the formation of comprehensive secondary schools, seeing that that is part of the programme of the Labour Party and the T.U.C.?

Mr. Tomlinson

I think I can say that I have not taken any steps to encourage local authorities to put forward a certain type—comprehensive, technical or any other schools. What I have asked is that they should consider those forms of organisation in the best interests of the development of education and submit their plans.

Miss Bacon

Does not my right hon. Friend consider it in the interests of the children that these schools should be definitely encouraged and not just tolerated?

9. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Education whether he will name the three areas of Middlesex in which experimental comprehensive schools are to be set up.

Mr. Tomlinson

The schools will be at Potters Bar, Hillingdon and Hayes.

Mr. Keeling

Will the Minister give an assurance that no more comprehensive schools will be set up in Middlesex until the result of this experiment is seen?

Mr. Tomlinson


Mr. Keeling

Does that mean no assurance or no more schools.

Mr. Tomlinson

I will not give the assurance.

Sir W. Smithers

On a point of Order. Is it not more polite, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister to say, "No, Sir"?

Mr. Tomlinson

No, Sir.

Mr. Piratin

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this initial step which has been taken by the Middlesex County Council is giving great pleasure to many parents in Middlesex who are very worried about the difference in standards—in particular, social standards—between the grammar schools and the so-called ordinary secondary schools?

Mr. Cove

Is it not the case that every public school in this country—Eton, Harrow and so on—is a comprehensive school, and that there is therefore no need for the experiment?

Mr. Tomlinson

I do not think we can settle this matter on the basis of question and answer.