HC Deb 22 May 1979 vol 967 cc850-1
2. Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will have discussions with Staffordshire county council concerning the possibility of its submitting proposals to keep open the village schools in the Staffordshire Moorlands area which it is in the process of closing.

The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Dr. Rhodes Boyson)

The proposals under section 13 of the Education Act 1944, submitted by the Staffordshire county council to restructure education in the Moorlands area, were approved under the previous Government and have been partially implemented. My right hon. and learned Friend cannot therefore intervene.

Mr. Knox

Is my hon. Friend aware of the very strong feeling about, and opposition to, the proposals to close these village schools not only in the area directly concerned but throughout the whole of my constituency? Will he confirm that it will be possible for the Staffordshire county council to submit new proposals to reopen these schools, and, if it does, will he look favourably at the proposition?

Dr. Boyson

I can reply entirely in the affirmative. If the Staffordshire county council wishes to make fresh proposals in relation to its schools, that is entirely a matter for it. If it puts up such proposals, they will be decided on their merits.