HC Deb 19 January 1967 vol 739 cc640-1
33. Mr. Raphael Tuck

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent it is Government policy that integration of direct grant schools into the comprehensive system will involve their being allowed to continue a selective system of entry.

Mr. Crosland

Government policy on this matter was laid down in Circular 10/65, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy.

Mr. Tuck

Is it true that my right hon. Friend has chosen to regard the Leeds direct grant school as fully integrated into the comprehensive system, which it is not because three-quarters of the students are selected at 11? Is it not a fact that he also said that he would like to see such schemes extended to other areas?

Mr. Crosland

I said no such thing about Leeds. What I said was that I noted with interest the agreement between the direct grant school and the authority. The agreement does not provide for selective entry but an unselective entry for certain pupils at a certain age.

Sir E. Boyle

Is it not a fact that the Leeds authority has proposed to take up places not at 11-plus but at the sixth form level for those who could not get courses that they would otherwise wish to get in their present schools? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we on this side would regard this as a reasonable compromise and that we would most profoundly object to any attempt by the party opposite to upset this sort of proposal?

Mr. Crosland

This is their suggestion. I was asked to say whether I regarded this as a full integration of the school. It is not and that is all that there is to it. The right hon. Gentleman accurately describes the scheme which was approved by the authority and the school. I noted this with interest and would certainly like to see how it works.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this is an unreasonable compromise? Is he further aware that it does not seem reasonable to many of us on this side, and that we are viewing with concern the fact that the Leeds education authority had this proposal put to it by the Ministry? Does he not agree that this proposal is nothing like the integration of the direct grant school into the State system?

Mr. Crosland

Once again I must insist that no one has mentioned the word "integration" in connection with this. The school has not been integrated into the system. No one pretends that this is so. As to the inception of this proposal, this is the first time that I have heard that it came from the Department. As far I am concerned, this was a proposal which came to me from, I may add, a Labour local education authority, in agreement with the school.