HC Deb 13 July 1972 vol 840 cc1818-9
2. Sir Gilbert Longden

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will publish a list of the names and locations of every new direct grant school which has been added to the list in the last two years.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

No schools have been added to the direct grant list in this period.

Sir Gilbert Longden

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that is a disappointing answer? I am sure, however, that she is doing her best to fulfil our declared intention to encourage direct grant schools because they provide opportunities for children of academic ability which they might not otherwise have, irrespective of parents' incomes. Can my right hon. Friend say why there has been no increase in the number?

Mrs. Thatcher

I agree with many of the views expressed by my hon. Friend. I have before me applications or inquiries from about 30 schools which would be interested if the direct grant list were reopened, but it would be expensive to reopen it if, in addition, one were doing as one has done already—that is, help the direct grant schools by increasing the capitation fee and by a much more generous income remissions list, which has been much appreciated.