HC Deb 17 March 1980 vol 981 cc17-8
10. Mr. Geraint Howells

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the future of the colleges of education in Wales.

Mr. Michael Roberts

The public sector institutions are moving towards the revised target capacities announced by the previous Administration in 1977.

Mr. Howells

In view of the high cost of living, will not the Minister agree that the student grants scheme should be made mandatory?

Mr. Roberts

That it not my responsibility, but I shall pass the hon. Member's comments on to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Alan Williams

Will the hon. Gentleman indicate whether the Government will carry out a further review of the number and size of colleges in Wales?

Mr. Roberts

Clearly every college in Wales must fight to some extent for its own survival. The right hon. Gentleman will know why—because of the falling rolls and the consequent drop in the demand for teachers. Also we must consider the increased standards of admission for entry into our colleges of education. Severe difficulties are imposed on them because the universities are attracting so many more candidates from the schools. We are not conducting any review, and we are confident that all the colleges will meet their targets.