HC Deb 22 January 1959 vol 598 cc390-1
21. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Education how many new school places were provided in the years 1951 and 1958. respectively; and what was the average cost in each case.

Sir E. Boyle

Since the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with permission, publish it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Osborne

Can my hon. Friend say whether the cost per place has increased or decreased?

Sir E. Boyle

The number of school places taken into use has increased from 154,000 in 1951 to 299,000 in 1958. If due allowance is made for the change in the value of money during the period, the cost of primary school places in 1951 would have been £190, whereas it is now £145. The comparable figures for secondary school places are £337 and £255.

Mr. H. Morrison

Is not the hon. Member playing about with figures? Will he not publish the actual figures and not simply twist things about to suit his own convenience?

Sir E. Boyle

I should have thought that the right hon. Gentleman would be pleased to see the results of an investigation into something for the beginning of which he shared responsibility. The figures which are to be published with all relevant notes and information in the OFFICIAL REPORT should give a good deal of pleasure to hon. Members on both sides of the House.

Mr. M. Stewart

Since the hon. Member is to publish these figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT, will he indicate that such improvement in this matter as has been made has been largely due to the work done when the late Mr. George Tomlinson was at the Ministry of Education?

Sir E. Boyle

Many Ministers from both parties have played a large part. Considering that the Government have now been in power for seven years, during which great progress has been made, it would be most unfair if the hon. Member took full credit to his side of the House. Coupled with the supplementary answer I have just given, the Answer will give the House all the information required.

Following is the Answer:

Year ending 30th Sept. New School Places (a) Average actual nett cost per place of places approved (c)
Taken into use (b) Approved Primary Secondary
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
£ £
1951 154,465 214,165 136.4 241.8
1958 299,190 210,635 145.8 255.0
(a) The figures in columns (2) and (3) include new places in new schools and major extensions to existing schools and those provided by means of minor works and in huts built in preparation for the raising of the school leaving age in 1947.
(b)The new places taken into use shown in column (2) were approved at various earlier dates. It is not possible to give their average cost.
(c) The figures of cost per place in columns (4) and (5) are averages for the calendar year 1951 and the first six months of 1958. They fairly reflect the average actual cost of the places shown as approved in column (3).
(d) The figures for 1951 would be £190.5; and £337.6; at 1958 prices.