HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 cc206-7
Q8. Mr. Dean

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the Secretary of State for Education and Science at Harrogate on 7th January, on comprehensive education, represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Dean

Is the Prime Minister aware that the speech of his right hon. Friend is widely regarded as a direct attack on direct grant schools? Would he deny that those schools have an excellent academic record and take children from a wide variety of schools and that if they went comprehensive their character would be destroyed?

The Prime Minister

I certainly did not interpret my right hon. Friend's speech in that way, nor did he mean it in that way. Nor do the words bear the interpretation which the hon. Member has put upon them. My right hon. Friend referred to direct grant schools and the whole speech was in full accord with statements made from the Government Front Bench and approved when these matters were last debated in this House. What he said in relation to direct grant schools was that he wanted to see them taking their full place in a reformed system of publicly provided education.