HC Deb 13 July 1961 vol 644 cc554-5
6. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Education what action has been taken by his Department upon the reports of Her Majesty's inspectors which comment adversely on the accommodation provided in individual schools.

Sir D. Eccles

I send these reports to the authorities responsible for the schools and I take into account the views of Her Majesty's inspectors when considering building proposals.

Dr. King

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of these reports call attention to the inadequacy of school accommodation—inadequacy with which the local authority is unable to deal because of the inadequacy of the Minister's permitted building programme? While Her Majesty's inspectors say "Forward", the Minister continually says "Backwards".

Sir D. Eccles

I think that is somewhat unfair. Of course, we want the inspectors to point out all these deficiencies. That is the purpose of a full inspection report. But, at the same time, we are steadily increasing the annual totals of the building programme.

Mrs. Slater

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that in some cases these building defects have been pointed out time and again over several years? What action does the right hon. Gentleman propose to take, for instance, to help local authorities to remedy some of these serious defects and to push them into doing so if they refuse to take notice of the report?

Sir D. Eccles

A local authority has a minor works allocation which it spends as it thinks fit on the projects most urgent. The best way that I can help local authorities is to see that they complete the building programmes which we give them.