HC Deb 19 November 1970 vol 806 c1414
21. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the estimated percentage increase in primary and secondary school population in maintained schools between 1970 and 1975.

Mr. van Straubenzee

12.9 per cent. in England and Wales.

Mr. Spearing

Will the hon. Gentleman perhaps clarify that? The question applied to primary and secondary school populations separately.

Mr. van Straubenzee

The answer is that for primary it is an increase of 3.6 per cent. and for secondary it is 28.1 per cent.

Mr. Mudd

Would my hon. Friend accept that the shortfall for Cornwall shows an increase of 0.8 per cent. of the national average, and that this can be corrected only by the immediate infusion of £250,000 to the Cornwall Education Committee?

Mr. van Straubenzee

Keen though I am on my job, I am afraid that I do not keep individual l.e.a. figures in my mind. But I will do my best to answer the question if the hon. Gentleman will put it down.

Mr. Alan Williams

But would the hon. Gentleman not agree that this confirms an earlier point of mine, that since the birthrate rose in 1964 it is utterly illogical to be cutting back on the priority for the secondary phase at this stage?

Mr. van Straubenzee

The hon. Gentleman will talk of cutting back. Over the period in question major school building programmes to the value of about £700 million are expected to yield about 750,000 primary school places and getting on for 1 million secondary school places. This is a very encouraging situation.