HC Deb 28 January 1954 vol 522 cc1933-4
1. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Education the latest figures of primary and secondary schools under construction; and how they compare with those of a year, and two years ago, respectively.

The Minister of Education (Miss Florence Horsbrugh)

On 1st October last there were 602 primary and 367 secondary schools under construction. Corresponding figures for 1952 were 756 and 309 respectively, and for 1951 they were 908 and 283.

Mr. Swingler

In view of the ever-worsening situation in the primary schools under the Minister's régime, what action will she now take to increase the number of primary schools under construction in order to reduce the size of classes? Will she give an assurance that her programme will include enough school places to cater for the rise in tie secondary school population which will begin in 1956?

Miss Horsbrugh

The hon. Member has no doubt noticed that in the building of secondary schools more work has to be done than in primary schools. The figures for the 12 months ending 1st October, 1951, show that only 114,000 new school places were brought into use. For the 12 months ending 1st October, 1952, and 1st October, 1953, they were 187,000 and 257,000 respectively.

Dr. King

Is it not a serious fact that we need one-fifth more places in our secondary schools within five years? Is the Minister satisfied that her building programme will provide those places?

Miss Horsbrugh

I am satisfied that we are making more starts and are keeping up the momentum. If the present momentum is maintained, I think we shall achieve exactly what the hon. Member wishes.