HC Deb 02 August 1956 vol 557 cc1580-1
28. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that at St. James School, Blackburn, school meals have to be served from a boys' cloakroom 9 feet by 18 feet where 75 boys have to hang their coats, that washing-up has to be done by five dinner helpers in one small sink in this same cloakroom and meals are served on the children's desk in four classrooms; and, in view of the fact that these conditions have been condemned by Her Majesty's Inspectors, why he has refused to give approval for the erection of a dining room at this school.

Mr. Vosper

The local education authority were informed on 24th July that my right hon. Friend agreed to the provision in the 1957–58 building programme both of a kitchen and a dining room at this school.

Mrs. Castle

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for the concession that has been made since I raised this matter with him, but is he aware that, by still refusing to include this scheme in the current year's programme, he is forcing the staff and the children at this school to continue to live and work in these highly unsatisfactory conditions, and that these boys will still have to survive a Lancashire winter hanging up their coats in a wet kitchen?

Mr. Vosper

I realise that. It was for that reason that, when the hon. Lady saw me on 19th July, I arranged that this project should be included in the very next programme. More than that I am afraid I cannot do.