HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 cc737-8
24. Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will publish a White Paper on Government policy towards secondary education and school-building programmes.

Mrs. Thatcher

Not at present.

Mr. Judd

Will not the right hon. Lady agree that for those who are trying seriously to get on with the job of accepting responsibility for the education of our children, it is not good enough only to have a thoroughly negative circular from her Department, and that there is urgent need for a clear indication of what positive thinking there is on the things that matter?

Mrs. Thatcher

That was positive thinking, and the 1944 Act, as amended, is a positive Act under which great advances were made by previous Ministers of Education.

Mr. Maude

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that, in following her admirable policy of restoring freedom of choice to local authorities, it is essential that, where selection is chosen by a local authority, resources be made available to allow it to work properly through the provision of adequate numbers of school places?

Mrs. Thatcher

Yes, Sir. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising that point.

Mr. Edward Short

In the Press notice issued after the right hon. Lady met the National Union of Teachers, she was reported as saying that she would consider issuing a further circular to give guidance. Has she now abandoned that?

Mrs. Thatcher

No, Sir. The answer which I gave to the right hon. Gentleman's hon. Friend was, "Not at present".