HC Deb 17 July 1963 vol 681 cc505-6
17. Mr. Steele

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for the provision of school accommodation for the children of naval personnel to be stationed at Faslane.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Responsibility for ensuring adequate educational facilities rests primarily with the education authority. I know that the replacement of Hermitage Secondary School, Helensburgh, figures largely in their plans to meet the demand for additional school places; and a starting date for this project is at present under discussion

Mr. Steele

I thank the noble Lady for the last part of her Answer, which is a crumb of comfort. How can she say that responsibility for the education of these children rests with the local authority when the Department has so far refused to allow the local authority to build a school? Will not she have another look at this matter, as the Admiralty has now said that places for 900 children will have to be provided? I have an assurance from the Admiralty that negotiations have been taking place. Will she now say when the Hermitage School can go ahead?

Lady Tweedsmuir

I thank the hon. Member for his first remark. I am glad to hear that he is pleased about this proposal for the Hermitage School. I understand that the local authority thinks that it can put it out for tenders in September, and we hope to be able to give authority then. As regards Dunbartonshire's general problem, the total number of places provided by this school when it is finished will be 1,000 for secondary school provision and 200 for primary in the old Hermitage building. I believe that this will largely meet the problem.