HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 c734
16. Mr. Evelyn King

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, whether, in the interests of educational freedom, she will take steps to increase the number of schools which cannot be interfered with by her Department or local authorities.

Mrs. Thatcher

I believe in a healthy independent sector. Schools which are not maintained by local education authorities are subject to the provisions of Part III of the Education Act, 1944 or of the Direct Grant School Regulations 1959.

Mr. King

May I assume that my right hon. Friend will re-emphasise the desirability of a strong independent sector in the interests of educational advance and experiment? Will she confirm that one child independently educated saves the Treasury about £1,500?

Mrs. Thatcher

I could not confirm the specific amount, but apart from that the answer is "Yes" to both parts of my hon. Friend's supplementary question.

Mr. Marks

Will the right hon. Lady investigate those schools where unqualified people are in charge? Will she investigate those which have not been approved as efficient by her Department and particularly those which are not purpose-built?

Mrs. Thatcher

The schools are inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate.