HC Deb 21 January 1965 vol 705 cc394-5
20. Mr. Robert Cooke

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he proposes to take to ensure the continuing freedom of choice of parents in Bristol to send their children to schools providing a religious background to education appropriate to the denomination to which they belong.

Mr. M. Stewart

None is necessary since the denominational schools maintained by Bristol local education authority will continue to be available to children of Church of England and Roman Catholic parents who choose them.

Mr. Cooke

The Secretary of State has not answered my Question, which relates to direct grant schools as well, which are suffering the process of attrition dealt with in the last Question. Has he become aware of the proposals of all the churches in Bristol that these direct grant schools in particular should continue by a process of selection, perhaps at some time other than 11-plus, and thus preserve their special character?

Mr. Stewart

It might be possible to explore that, but the Question does not mention direct grant schools. The Question is about the opportunity for denominational education. As I say, that opportunity remains.