HC Deb 04 February 1960 vol 616 cc1209-10
31. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Education in view of the concern arising from the teaching of young girls in the depressing and antiquated surroundings of the Picardy Girls Secondary School, Erith, and the desire of the Kent Education Committee, as a matter of urgency, to replace the school with new buildings, why he has turned down the application of the Kent Education Committee to do so.

Mr. K. Thompson

Projects submitted by the Kent and other local education authorities for the 1960–62 building programmes had stronger claims than this school, replacement of which my right hon. Friend will consider sympathetically for the 1962–63 programme.

Mr. Dodds

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for the most sympathetic reply which I have had for some time. Is he aware that Her Majesty's Inspector has stated that this is the worst secondary school in Kent? Does not it make nonsense of the Government White Paper relating to secondary schools if, the Kent Education Committee having asked for this as a matter of urgency, it is knocked out of the programme? I do not wish to provoke the hon. Gentleman too far, but is he aware that I am pleased to hear that there is a likelihood that it will he accepted in the new programme?

Mr. Thompson

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his kind words. 1 reminded him during an Adjournment debate a few days ago that we are carrying out a five-year programme, and we are doing our best to get the urgent projects out of the way as soon as we can.