HC Deb 02 December 1970 vol 807 cc1279-80
34. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of primary school classes in Fife with more than 40 pupils.

Mr. Edward Taylor

I am asking the education authority to send the latest available information to the hon. Member.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the Under-Secretary aware that there are a number of schools in my constituency, let alone the county of Fife, with classes of more than 40 pupils? Does the Minister recall that in a reply to me on 4th November the figures indicated that in the direct-grant schools in Scotland the average number of pupils per primary class was 28? Does he not consider it a shocking state of affairs that with so many classes in Fife with over 40 pupils the Government should seek to encourage and perpetuate the two-nation system in Scottish education?

Mr. Taylor

There is a later Question dealing with a related matter and I should be pleased to deal with this point when it arises. It is fair to point out, although I do not want to minimise the real problems in Fife, that, on the basis of the provisional 1970 figures, 15.8 per cent. of Fife's primary classes have more than 40 pupils compared with the national average of 16.2 per cent.

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