HC Deb 10 March 1955 vol 538 cc597-8
24. Miss Bacon

asked the Minister of Education how many extra secondary school places he estimates will be required in the next three years; and what plans he has for providing them.

Sir D. Eccles

The number of secondary school places required depends on the needs of particular areas as well as the total number of children over 11. The number of places now under construction is 195,000, and 250,000 more are programmed to start building in the next 12 months. By 31st December, 1957, the secondary school roll is expected to increase by about 330,000.

Miss Bacon

Whilst it will be necessary for me to consider those figures when I see them in writing, may I ask the Minister, since he sets his face against the comprehensive school, if he realises that there is a danger over the next few years that overcrowding will take place in the secondary modern schools and, therefore, the percentage of children proceeding to grammar schools will probably decrease? Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that that will not happen?

Sir D. Eccles

It would be impossible to give a definite assurance about the proportion of grammar school places, but I thought my answer would give some comfort to the hon. Lady because the number of places I hope to see completed in the next three years is 445,000 and the increase in the roll is expected to be 330,000.