HC Deb 31 March 1960 vol 620 cc1482-3
5. Mr. Fitch

asked the Minister of Education how many schools which were on the former Board of Education's black list are still being used for teaching purposes; and what are his proposals for abolishing such schools.

Sir D. Eccles

The list was compiled over 30 years ago; some of the schools have been closed, and others significantly improved. In the eight years 1952–1959, 2,500 new primary schools and about I million new primary school places have been completed. The Government's proposals for replacing bad school buildings were set out in the White Paper of December, 1958, which we shall carry out as quickly as resources permit.

Mr. Fitch

Will the Minister answer the Question? I asked for the number of schools still on the black list. Is he aware that there are schools which were put on that list as long ago as 1920 and which are still being used for teaching?

Sir D. Eccles

The list was mainly of schools which required improvements, and a great many improvements have been done under minor works. Without a very great effort of inquiry, it would be very difficult to say precisely how many of the schools on the list have had nothing done to them.

Mr. Greenwood

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman say how many schools were on the original list and how many have not been "significantly altered ", to use the form of words he used?

Sir D. Eccles

I am not absolutely sure, but I think that the number was 561. If I am wrong, I will write to the hon. Gentleman. Of course, in presenting their programmes for building each year local authorities have their own lists and, naturally, they are the people who can say where the chief priority lies.

Mr. G. Thomas

Will the Minister consult his inspectors of schools, who can give him a more modern list, since it is now high time that we had a much more up-to-date list of schools which are unfit for the teaching of children?

Sir D. Eccles

Each time the building programme comes forward, it reflects in effect the black list of each local authority.

Mrs. Braddock

Will the Minister say why a school in Liverpool, which the education authority requires to be closed and rebuilt, has each year been taken out of the list by his Ministry?

Sir D. Eccles

If the hon. Lady will send me particulars of that school. I will study them.