HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 cc567-8
19. Mr. Arnold Shaw

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to help expedite the reorganisation of secondary education in Redbridge.

Mr. Edward Short

I have included in the 1968–69 and 1969–70 school building programmes projects to a total value of £465,000 for the completion of a comprehensive upper school at Loxford Lane which will serve a large part of the South Ilford area. The main part of the authority's reorganisation plan depends upon substantial building and I have therefore asked them to examine the possibility of increasing the pace of development through the amalgamation of some pairs of existing schools.

Mr. Shaw

While welcoming the steps that the Department has taken in bringing about reorganisation in Redbridge, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he can tell me how it is possible to accept a scheme for reorganisation which, if implemented, would take at least 50 years and would certainly be roundly castigated, if accepted?

Mr. Short

We looked at the scheme carefully, and it is a long-term one. Because of the layout of the schools in the area it involves a biggish building programme. This is why I have written to the local authority to ask whether it can make more use of existing schools. I hope that it can.