HC Deb 02 July 1964 vol 697 cc1531-2
22. Mr. Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in view of the fact that in Staffordshire 42 per cent. of the senior classes and 20 per cent. of the junior classes are oversized, if he will reconsider the local authority's proposals for a larger school building Programme in the light of the need to attract more teachers.

Mr. Hogg

No, Sir. The Staffordshire authority's quota of teachers and their school building programme for the two and a half years 1965 to 1968 represent a fair share of the resources available for England and Wales as a whole.

Mr. Swingler

Has the Secretary of State taken into account the factor of negligence and backwardness in the past? Is it not a very serious matter that there is in Staffordshire such a high proportion of over-sized secondary classes? Is he aware that one of the main problems in attracting more teachers to Staffordshire is the fact that there are so many old buildings and so much obsolete equipment? Therefore, would he consider Staffordshire's proposals in the light of these facts?

Mr. Hogg

I am always prepared to consider proposals where they are not fully committed, but the proportion of over-sized senior classes in Staffordshire in 1963 was less than in England and Wales as a whole—42.3 per cent. against 43.6 per cent.

Mr. Snow

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that in one part of the area to which my hon. Friend is referring, as a result of overspill the local population has doubled, and there is no evidence to suggest that his Department is fully informed, for instance, of the case of private development building where the number of children just does not seem to be known?

Mr. Hogg

My reply referred to Staffordshire as a whole. If the hon. Gentleman puts material before me which we have not yet got, it will be considered.