HC Deb 20 November 1979 vol 974 cc198-9
10. Mr. John Evans

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when next he expects to meet the Association of Metropolitan Authorities' Education Committee.

Mr. Mark Carlisle

I have no plans to do so at the moment, but I have regular discussions with the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the Association of County Councils.

Mr. Evans

Will the Secretary of State concede that, from his discussions with the AMA, opposition to his assisted places schemes is now spreading from the Benches behind him to Conservative members of the AMA because he has totally ignored their view that this scheme is socially divisive?

Mr. Carlisle

I do not accept that. The AMA has made it quite clear that it recognises that we are committed to this scheme. We made it clear that I propose to discuss it with the local education authorities.

Mr. Sever

Will the Secretary of State indicate when he next meets the AMA how he expects to bring a lot of inner-city urban area schools up to standard in the coming financial year?

Mr. Carlisle

The question of individual schools being brought up to standard is a matter for the AMA. What is quite clear is that, in the city areas. where there have been substantial decreases in the number of children of school age, there is bound to be a certain number of closures of older schools.