HC Deb 18 July 1956 vol 556 cc1184-5
3 Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Air (1) if he will make a statement on the school facilities provided for the children of Royal Air Force parents at Khormaksar and Steamer Point, Aden, with particular reference to the number of primary and secondary schoolchildren for whom education is being provided and the character of the facilities available;

(2) what complaints he has received about the character of school facilities for the children of Royal Air Force parents in Aden; and what action he is taking;

(3) what proposals he has under consideration for a new school for the children of Royal Air Force parents in Aden; and when work on this project will begin.

Mr. Soames

Primary education is provided at Khormaksar and Steamer Point for 299 children, including 279 of R.A.F. parents. Secondary education is provided at Khormaksar for 102 children, including 89 of R.A.F. parents. Although we have received no complaints, my right hon. Friend realises that the accommodation is unsatisfactory. We plan to build a new school at Khormaksar which will provide, under one roof, primary and secondary school facilities for most of the children at Khormaksar and Steamer Point. A few of the younger children at Steamer Point will continue to attend the primary school there, to avoid travelling.

Mr. Swingler

On the assumption that so long as this base exists the Minister should act vigorously for the welfare of the children of Service men, may I ask the hon. Gentleman the following questions? First, is it a fact that some infants have to travel 14 miles daily in order to attend school, and is that not very undesirable? Secondly, is it the fact that the secondary school lacks most of the secondary facilities that such a school should have? Thirdly, would the hon. Gentleman tell the House how long the plans for the new school have been on the stocks, and can he give a date when work will actually commence?

Mr. Soames

We realise that the position is unsatisfactory. That is why we are planning to go ahead and build this new primary and secondary school. We hope to be able to start early next year.