HC Deb 23 June 1955 vol 542 cc1501-2
52. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Education the number of children of secondary school age being educated in all-age schools on 31st December, 1954; and the number of such children who will be transferred to secondary schools under school building programmes approved under his recent directive to local education authorities.

Sir D. Eccles

In January, 1954, there were 212,770 pupils in the senior classes of all-age schools. I told authorities last December that I hoped they would start within five years sufficient new secondary schools to reorganise all-age schools in the rural areas. An excellent beginning has been made, and I cannot yet forecast at what rate the reorganisation in rural and other areas will be carried to completion.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that local education authorities welcome the directive that he has given? Is he now in a position to state that we shall have got all these 250,000 children into proper secondary schools by the end of five years?

Sir D. Eccles

I am not in a position to state that, because our building possibilities at the moment permit us to carry out the reorganisation only of rural areas. We cannot go on to the towns until conditions have become rather easier, but I hope that that will not be too long.