HC Deb 20 May 1954 vol 527 cc2277-8
27. Mr. Morley

asked the Minister of Education how many schools on the original black list are still in use.

Miss Horsbrugh

Of the 2,827 schools on the original black list 2,250 have since been withdrawn from the list either on closure or because conditions have been substantially improved. This leaves on the list and still in use 577 schools, of which 66 were originally condemned as unsuitable for continued recognition and incapable of improvement.

Mr. Morley

When does the right hon. Lady propose to sanction an additional building programme in order that these schools may be replaced by modern schools?

Miss Horsbrugh

As soon as possible.

Mr. C. Davies

Are any of the schools mentioned in that very long list in Wales, and are some of the schools which were condemned by her Department as long ago as 1927, and which I found in 1937 had not been dealt with, still in that list?

Miss Horsbrugh

If the right hon. and learned Gentleman puts down a Question on the Order Paper relating particularly to Wales, I will try to obtain the information.

Mr. J. Johnson

Is it not a fact that the inquiry into black-listed schools took place almost 30 years ago, and that the Select Committee on Estimates said last year that there were many more than these 577? Will the right hon. Lady look again into the question of the actual number of schools that ought to be declared unfit for educational purposes?

Miss Horsbrugh

Unfortunately, we are well aware of the great number of schools that ought to be condemned and pulled down. There is no dispute between either side of the House on that point. I do not think that having another inquiry would help us. We want to get on as quickly as we can with building programmes, so that when it is possible we can have these schools replaced.