HC Deb 30 April 1984 vol 59 c15
15. Mr. Hubbard-Miles

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the latest pupil-teacher ratio available for maintained secondary schools in Wales.

The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Mr. John Stradling Thomas)

The ratio was 16.5:1 in January 1983.

Mr. Hubbard-Miles

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Does he agree that those excellent figures make nonsense of the wildly exaggerated allegations of cuts in the education service? Does he further agree that those figures, with the impending fall in pupil numbers in the secondary sector, should encourage local education authorities to plan to take advantage of falling school rolls and to deal with any problems that they might encounter?

Mr. Stradling Thomas

I agree with my hon. Friend. The pupil-teacher ratio has improved since we took office — 16.5:1 is the best yet achieved. Of course, the figures contradict claims that Government policy has harmed education in Wales. I urge local education authorities to make the best possible use of their resources in those circumstances.