§ 41. Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is aware of deficiencies in the fabric of many primary schools in Essex; and what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate funds are available for maintenance.
§ Miss Bacon
The local education authority is responsible for maintaining school buildings and for allocating the necessary resources. I understand that £425,000 will be available for primary schools in 1970–71.
§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
Is the right hon. Lady aware of the very special concern that is felt in the West Essex division about the deterioration of the fabric of schools into what has been described as future slum conditions? Will the Exchequer contribution be more generously available in future?
§ Miss Bacon
In addition to its general allocation for maintenance, Essex has had considerable allocations for the building of new schools. Between 1970 and 1972 it is to have 66 new schools, estimated to cost nearly £7 million. It will have another £0.8 million for minor works, which, again, can be used for this purpose. A further £2.9 million will be available during 1970–73 for raising the school leaving age. The question of the allocation for maintenance is a matter for the local authority.