HC Deb 05 February 1952 vol 495 cc795-7
19. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are contemplated to provide accommodation for the increasing school population.

Commander Galbraith

Each education authority knows its own requirements and has an approved plan to meet them. The plan includes the number, type, size and location of new schools to be built. Their order of priority is arranged by the authority.

Mr. Bence

Is the Minister aware that in East Dunbartonshire, owing to the increase in the school population, many young children are still only going to school part-time, and if the proposal to limit school accommodation is carried out, within two years we shall have to concede the point that the school entrance age will have to be raised or the leaving age lowered?

Commander Galbraith

I do not think that follows.

Mr. Rankin

Will the Minister take note of the fact that every day 4,000 secondary pupils are exported from the Pollok division of the City of Glasgow to other parts of the city because there is no secondary accommodation for them in Pollok?

21. Mr. Carmichael

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in consequence of the decision to stop the construction of new school buildings, if he will exercise the necessary authority which will permit local authorities like Glasgow Corporation, if they so desire, to discontinue the fee-paying school and thereby ease the overcrowding in the non-fee-paying schools.

Commander Galbraith

No decision has been taken to stop the construction of new school buildings, though progress will be slower than had been hoped. The discontinuance of fee-paying would not increase the number of school places available in Glasgow and would not ease overcrowding, since the fee-paying schools are themselves filled to capacity.

Mr. Carmichael

Does the Minister want us to believe that the conditions in the fee-paying schools are on a par with the conditions in the elementary and secondary schools in Glasgow, when in many cases the number of pupils is as low as 20 and sometimes lower, whereas in all the elementary and secondary schools in the working-class areas they are overcrowded? Surely this is more evidence of the class distinction that the Tories are always shouting about.

35. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many children of school age are at present undergoing part-time education as a result of lack of classroom accommodation.

Commander Galbraith

The number of children is about 220.

Mr. Hamilton

Could the Minister indicate where the incidence of this problem is heaviest, and would he not agree that, as a result of the curtailment of the building programme, the problem is likely to get worse?

Commander Galbraith

The problem is serious in the areas of Dumbarton and Dundee. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman has in mind four classes at Oakley, Fife, but I am glad to be able to tell him that additional accommodation has now been made available for them.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Has not this situation existed for the last six years, and could my hon. and gallant Friend indicate just what steps were taken by the previous Government to deal with it?

Mr. Hamilton

Is the Minister not aware that an undertaking was given during the General Election that the educational programme would not be touched at all?

Miss Herbison

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman who asked the Question not aware—

Hon. Members


36. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the estimated increase in the school population in Scotland in the next three years.

Commander Galbraith

It is estimated that by the end of 1954 the increases will be 49,300.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the hon. and gallant Member aware that in "The Scotsman" this morning, in the report of the interview which the Secretary of State gave to the Press, while denying it to this House, he said that by 1954 the full effects of the curtailment of the building programme would then be felt, and that the areas that would feel them worst would include Fife and the developing mining areas? What are the Government intending to do to encourage miners to go into these areas, if they are curtailing the educational facilities?

Commander Galbraith

That is quite a different question to that on the Order Paper.