HC Deb 07 February 1962 vol 653 cc415-6
24. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he is now formulating to meet the expected increase of 104,000 pupils by 1975 in the rolls of education authority and grant-aided schools.

Mr. Maclay

The present level of educational building is fully adequate to provide by 1975 the additional places required.

Mr. Rankin

Does not the right hon. Gentleman regard this as a most extraordinary Answer? Is it not the case that in many places today existing pupils cannot be taught within the four walls of the school buildings and that in some places schools are running two sessions on one and the same day? How is he going to accommodate those 104,000 children without building new schools? Does he realise that the bulge of a few years ago has now become a plateau of definite height? Can he assure us that he will make a better go at solving the problem created by the plateau than he did when he was faced with the bulge?

Mr. Maclay

The simple answer to most of the hon. Member's supplementary question is that 137,000 places have been provided during the last three years, which suggests that there should be no special difficulty about providing 104,000 additional places by 1975.

Miss Herbison

Is the Secretary of State aware that most education authorities in Scotland are seriously worried at this moment at the lack of proper buildings for the education of their children? Is he also aware that there are many heads of schools who have realised that they just cannot do the job they are supposed to do because of the scattered nature of the buildings? Is he not at all worried that added to those difficulties will be the extra one of increased population?

Mr. Maclay

I agree that there are many imperfections, and it will take time to cure them, but I think that if she studies the figures I gave in my answer to the first supplementary question the hon. Lady will appreciate that this matter has been tackled with energy in past years and that we should be able to solve it.

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