HC Deb 23 April 1969 vol 782 cc461-2
25. Mr. Dewar

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has received from Aberdeen Corporation regarding alterations in the agreed scheme of comprehensive reorganisation of schools.

Mr. Millan

The new proposals have not yet been put to me in detail but I understand that they provide for five "all through" comprehensive schools and five "four-year" schools.

Mr. Dewar

Will my hon. Friend accept that a large body of independent opinion in Aberdeen is appalled at the prospect of the scheme, which will perpetuate every division which comprehensive reorganisation is supposed to eliminate and can only result in the educational victimisation of a large number of children? Will he give it short shrift?

Mr. Millan

I am aware of these views. One difficulty is that details have not been submitted to me. Therefore, I am not able to judge what are the educational grounds, if any, on which the decision of the authority has recently been changed. But, when the proposals come in, I shall consider them very carefully.

Mr. MacArthur

When the Minister studies the problem again, will he bear in mind that, while comprehensive education has a fine part to play in the Scottish system, it has never been the informed educational opinion of Scotland that comprehensive education should be imposed on local authorities to the exclusion of all else?

Mr. Millan

What has happened in Aberdeen is that the proposals for comprehensive reorganisation, which were accepted, have now been changed. I find it difficult to know what are the educational grounds, if any, on which the change has been made.