HC Deb 20 May 1954 vol 527 cc2283-4
37. Mr. G. Longden

asked the Minister of Education how many of her officials are employed in administering her requirements for illumination in class rooms laid down in the Standards for School Premises Regulations, 1954; and what instruments are used for testing the standards of illumination.

Miss Horsbrugh

It is the duty of local education authorities to see that the requirements of the Standards for School Premises Regulations, 1954, are complied with, and no officers of my Department are solely employed in administering these Regulations. If exact measurements of the illumination in a particular school are required, my Department arranges for them to be made by the building research station of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Mr. Longden

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these Regulations lay down that in all teaching accommodation and kitchens the lowest level of maintained illumination and the minimum daylight factor shall be 10 lumens per square foot and 2 per cent, respectively; that she defines a "lumen" as: the luminous flux emitted in unit solid angle by a uniform source of artificial light giving a luminous intensity of one candala"; and that "Daylight factor" is in equally abstruse terms? Would it not be better, instead of using verbiage which can be understood—if at all—only by a senior wrangler—and I assure you, Mr. Speaker, that a dictionary is no help here —to say in simple English that lighting shall be such as seems reasonable for the purpose in the opinion of the head teacher and, if necessarly, to H.M. Inspectors?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member should not be so hard on verbiage.

Miss Horsbrugh

I have read the document, portions of which my hon. Friend has now read. I am assured that architects and those engaged in building schools know what those terms mean, and in the majority of cases I am sure that the Regulations are fully complied with.

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