HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 cc732-3
13. Sir G. Nabarro

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many grammar schools for boys or girls, or co-educational, in England and Wales continue to accept pupils subject only to the 11-plus examination or later entry, on a selective basis, calculated at the latest convenient date.

Mr. van Straubenzee

In January, 1969 there were 1,098 maintained grammar schools in England and Wales, 361 for boys, 373 for girls and 364 co-educational. All of them admitted pupils on a selective basis.

Sir G. Nabarro

Will my hon. Friend accept at once that it would be impossible to convert this mass of secondary schools on to a comprehensive—and universally comprehensive—basis in any short length of time and that selectivity will have to continue for the foreseeable future on the basis on which it is conducted at present or with relatively minor changes?

Mr. van Straubenzee

Yes, Sir. I attempted to make the same point in the debate on the Loyal Address, though not so eloquently.

Mr. Orme

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in a city such as Salford, where unfortunately selection is still practised, some schools at the last examinations had one grammar school pass while others had 60 to 70? Is not this deplorable and, because of this policy, are there not certain children in some areas who are precluded from any further education?

Mr. van Straubenzee

Whatever it may be, that particular matter is not a matter for the Department, and it is worth recalling that it took place under the policy of the last Government.

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