HC Deb 07 April 1965 vol 710 cc479-80
31. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in seeking to provide accommodation to meet the requirements of the new school leaving age, he will take steps to prevent local authorities from using the areas of school premises, designated for playing purposes, for temporary or permanent buildings.

Mr. Ross

I am sure that education authorities will be anxious to avoid encroaching on playing space, if they possibly can. But I shall keep the point in mind when I come to issue general guidance on the accommodation required later this year.

Mr. Rankin

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, but may I ask him whether he is aware that during the post-war period playground space has been constantly eroded by the erection of necessary buildings for the pupils? In view of that, will he consider increasing the area of school premises from 7½ acres to 8½ acres in the case of secondary schools and from 4 acres to 5 acres in the case of primary schools, as a protective measure in the interests of pupils?

Mr. Ross

I think that our troubles are not with new schools or those being built, but in respect of meeting the demands arising from extensions of existing schools. I should like to be able to assure my hon. Friend that there will be no further encroachment, but I think that I would be quite unwise to do so. I assure him, however, that where there is the possibility of alternative accommodation, either for the school extension or for the playing field, that will be looked at carefully.

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