§ 24. Mr. Arthur Davidson
asked the Secretary of State for Education and 609 Science how many authorities were operating comprehensive schools in 1965; and what is the latest figure.
§ Mr. Edward Short
At January, 1965, 48 authorities were operating a total of 262 comprehensive schools; the corresponding figures for January, 1969, were 96 authorities and 962 schools. Precise figures for January, 1970, are not yet available but I estimate that there are now over 100 authorities operating about 1,200 comprehensive schools.
§ Mr. Davidson
Is my right hon. Friend aware that those figures are very encouraging for those of us who believe in the system of comprehensive education? Do not they make even more indefensible the action of those Conservative-controlled education authorities which are blindly sticking to the system of selection at 11-plus?
§ Sir G. Nabarro
Is it not a fact that in Worcestershire there are a number of ancient foundation, namely, famous grammar schools, which are quite unsuited to conversion to comprehensive establishments? Should not they be allowed to contract out of universal comprehensiveness?