HC Deb 07 June 1962 vol 661 cc647-8
30. Mr. Milne

asked the Minister of Education if he is aware of the difficulties still being experienced in Newsham junior school, near Blyth, which, though scheduled for demolition many years ago, is still being used in crowded and unsatisfactory conditions; and if he will make available additional financial aid to the local authority in 1963–64 to deal with this problem.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Kenneth Thompson)

My right hon. Friend knows that the Northumberland authority is anxious to improve conditions at Newsham school. Priority has to be given in the school building programme to meeting the needs of new housing and shifts in population and only a few places can be found for the replacement of old primary schools of this kind.

Mr. Milne

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that that reply merely tinkers with a long-drawn-out problem? Does he appreciate the tremendous debt owed to the headmasters and staffs of schools of this description? Will he ensure that some sense of urgency is instilled into the Minister in dealing with this very urgent problem?

Mr. Thompson

I endorse the hon. Gentleman's remarks about the services of the staff. I assure him that we try to get on with this kind of work when we can.