HC Deb 13 December 1956 vol 562 cc618-9
41. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Education the number of children being educated in Anglican and Roman Catholic aided schools, respectively; and the number of new Anglican and new Roman Catholic schools built since the war, or now under construction.

The Minister of Education (Sir David Eccles)

As the Answer contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Dr. King

As these figures will show that since the war the Catholic community has been making great sacrifices to provide schools for which it is responsible, and that even the Anglican Church is beginning to do so, will the Minister encourage both communities by putting back the church schools, especially the village primary schools, which he has cut out of the present building programme?

Sir D. Eccles

I agree with the hon. Member that the efforts made by the Churches are very great and very praiseworthy, but I cannot have a policy for the denominational schools different from that for the county schools.

Following is the Answer:

Church of England Roman Catholic
Aided schools Special agreement schools Aided schools Special agreement schools
(i) Number of pupils, January, 1956 450,635 6,200 461,205 12,606
(ii) Number of schools completed since the war 38 180
(iii) Number of places in (ii) 10,965 56,220
(iv) Number of schools under construction, 1st October, 1956 19 60
(v) Number of places in (iv) 5,920 20,630

42. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Education how many new Roman Catholic Schools have been cut out of local education authority building programmes for 1956–58 by his economy measures.

Sir D. Eccles

The effect of Circular 306, issued in June, 1956, was to postpone for a few months the start of a number of projects, including some Roman Catholic schools, in the 1955–56 and 1956–57 programmes. For 1957–58 local education authorities proposed 101 Roman Catholic Schools; of these I have accepted 21. Those rejected included many projects outside the building policy which has obtained since the war.

Dr. King

Does the Minister realise that for the Catholic schools those figures represent a cut of about 75 per cent. and in some parts of the country 100 per cent. in the building programme? Will he look at the case of some of the schools, like the Roman Catholic school that he has cut out of the Aldershot building programme, with a view to putting some of them back?

Sir D. Eccles

It is not a cut at all. Many of these schools put forward by the Churches, as they know quite well, are outside the present limits of the building programme, and could not be brought into the building programme in present conditions.