HC Deb 09 March 1972 vol 832 cc1641-2
22. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will conduct a survey to ascertain the extent to which lighting in schools measures up to her recommended standards.

Mr. van Straubenzee

No. Sir.

Mr. Pardoe

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the standards of lighting in many schools all over the country are far below those recommended by the electrical fitting profession, by his Department and, indeed, those in shops, offices and factories under current legislation? Will he stress the responsibility of managers and governors to ensure that teachers and children have adequate conditions of work?

Mr. van Straubenzee

I am not sure that the evidence supports the hon. Gentleman's contention. He probably has in mind the 1971 survey by the Society of Local Government Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, which showed no evidence that, for example, new schools are being designed to lower standards than those laid down in the Standards of School Premises Regulations.

Mr. John Fraser

Will the hon. Gentleman undertake that where standards in a school fall short of those which are analogous to the standards laid down in the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, the local authority will not be debarred from spending money to bring the school up to the standards laid down in that Act?

Mr. van Straubenzee

Assuming—as I think must follow from the hon. Gentleman's question—that these are matters within the discretion of the local authority, they are entirely matters for the local authority to decide in each case.