HC Deb 22 April 1970 vol 800 cc413-5
28. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has held regarding the future of the grant-aided schools; and whether he will make a statement.

33. Mr. Dewar

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make a statement on the Public School Commission Report on Grant-aided Schools in Scotland.

Mr. Millan

I am not yet in a position to add to what my right hon. Friend said in reply to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Edwin M. Taylor) on 15th April.—[Vol. 799, c. 1386–7.]

Mr. Brewis

Does the hon. Gentleman agree with his right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Education and Science in England and Wales that local authorities which send pupils to similar schools in England obtain a very good bargain? Why does he want to destroy these schools?

Mr. Millan

I am not aware that any local education authority in Scotland sends any pupils to grant-aided schools except for a number of local arrangements which affect a very small number of pupils and where the local school provides part of the secondary school education concerned.

Mr. Dewar

Will my hon. Friend accept that there has been a wide welcome in Scotland for the report, which points the way to the ending of the present anomalous situation in which public money is used to support a small privileged élite of schools whose activities are quite incompatible with comprehensive education and whose continued survival hinders the progress of the majority of children in the interests of preserving so-called advantages for a few?

Mr. Millan

I agree that it is a very valuable report and there are anomalies in the present situation but I am not able to add very much to that at the moment.

Mr. MacArthur

Can the hon. Gentleman assure the House that he will remain in the position of not being in a position to say anything more about this damaging proposal?

Mr. Millan

No, Sir. I think the proposals are worthy of consideration, and we shall be giving our reactions to them as soon as we have considered them.