HC Deb 24 July 1973 vol 860 c1381
2. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science why she refused the Essex Local Education Authority's submission for the remodelling of the Manningtree County Secondary School to 450 places for inclusion in the 1975–76 or 1976–77 secondary replacement and improvement scheme.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The Manningtree project was carefully examined, but the resources available had to be allocated to cases considered to be more urgent. It is open to the local education authority to resubmit the project for subsequent stages of the secondary improvement programme.

Mr. Ridsdale

Is my hon. Friend aware that that is a most disappointing reply, particularly as in this expanding area the school wishes to be remodelled and it is necessary to find more buildings in which to accommodate all the children in the area?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am aware that my hon. Friend would have found that reply disappointing. I am sorry not to be more forthcoming. The Department and my right hon. Friend are aware of the strong feelings among parents in Manningtrec and that the lack of suitable buildings may delay the intended reorganisation of the school as a comprehensive school for the 11-to-16 age group. As my hon. Friend knows, however, the low rate of growth of the secondary school population in the area makes it difficult to justify additions to the existing Manningtree buildings on the basis of basic needs.