HC Deb 13 July 1961 vol 644 cc561-2
15. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Education why the number of entrants to maintained and direct grant grammar schools is being reduced by 27,000 during the period 1958–62.

Sir D. Eccles

The estimate fur entrants to grammar schools which I gave the hon. Member on 5th July was based on the assumption that the grammar schools would take about the same proportion of each age group as they did in the earlier years. The size of the age groups is temporarily going down but local education authorities and school authorities will not necessarily choose to keep exactly the same proportion of grammar school entrants.

Mr. Willey

Will the right hon. Gentleman change his attitude? Surely we ought to take this opportunity of getting more children into the grammar schools. What has the right hon. Gentleman got against the grammar schools? Surely because the age groups have fallen we ought to see that advantage is taken of sending children into the grammar schools and allowing them to have the benefit of grammar school education. Will the right hon. Gentleman press this upon local authorities?

Sir D. Eccles

The hon. Gentleman may not be aware that in January last 11,000 classes in grammar schools were over-size. If it is thought better to get rid of some of those over-size classes I should not intervene.

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