§ 1. Mr. Arnold Shaw
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action she proposes to take in relation to the proposals submitted by the Redbridge Council under Section 2 of the Education Act 1976.
§ 10. Mr. Budgen
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what replies she has sent to those local authorities which had submitted incomplete or provisional proposals for comprehensive secondary reorganisation by 25th May.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Miss Margaret Jackson)
First, Mr. Speaker, may I apologise for the absence of my right hon. Friend, who is in Strasbourg today leading the United Kingdom delegation at the Council of Europe Conference of Education Ministers.
My right hon. Friend is considering the interim reply she has received from Essex. Letters have been sent to the other seven authorities, including Red-bridge, that were due to submit schemes by 24th May. I shall publish copies of the letters in the Official Report.
§ Mr. Shaw
While welcoming that reply, may I ask my hon. Friend whether she is satisfied that she has done enough? I understand that no date has been given to Redbridge for a reply. Is she aware that Redbridge has been procrastinating in the hope that there will be a change of Government? Does not my hon. Friend think that she is helping this authority in its delay by not putting a date to the reply?
§ Miss Jackson
No. The letter which has gone to the Redbridge authority in response to its proposals asks when it intends to discharge its statutory duty and to explain the present delay. If a protracted delay occurs in receiving a reply to that letter, we shall take further steps.
§ Following are the letters:—