HC Deb 28 January 1954 vol 522 cc1949-50
28. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Education how many private schools are listed by her Department as efficient; what are the standards required to qualify; and how many applications to be listed as efficient have been turned down

Miss Horsbrugh

On 1st January, 1953, the independent schools recognised as efficient numbered 1,322, The conditions of recognition are set out in Rules 16, a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member. My Department's provisional figures show that nine applications for recognition were rejected during 1953.

Mr. G. Thomas

Would the Minister send me a copy of that paper, and would she say how many of these schools practise the colour bar?

Miss Horsbrugh

I will certainlly send the hon. Gentleman a copy of rules 16. As to his other question, I know nothing.

29. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Education how many private schools were operating in England and Wales at the last convenient date

Miss Horsbrugh

According to my latest information, about 5,100.

Mr. Dodds

Does not the right hon. Lady think that the difference is very considerable and that there is need to have more supervision over the balance of these schools if they have not been submitted for any supervision at all?

Miss Horsbrugh

I quite agree with the hon. Gentleman that it would be a good thing if some of the independent schools applied for recognition, but I must point out that the number has risen very quickly in the last few years. In 1948, there were only 999 and the number has been increasing every year quite considerably. I hope that that increase will continue and be speeded up.

Miss Lee

Would the right hon. Lady, at the same time, concentrate on raising the standard of the ordinary school, thereby making it less necessary for some parents to send their children to private schools which, ultimately, ought to be abolished?

Miss Horsbrugh

I agree that what we want is to raise the standard of the maintained schools for the reason which the hon. Lady puts forward, that we could then insist on a better standard for the others.