§ 12. Mr. Loyden
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations have been made about secondary schools reorganisation by parents organisations.
§ Mr. Dunn
Such representations are received, in the form of statutory objections and deputations to the Department, in respect of most proposals to reorganise secondary education. The views so expressed are one of the factors that my right hon. Friend takes into account when deciding these proposals.
§ Mr. Loyden
Now that the Secretary of State has exercised his power to keep open Bluecoat school, will he also exercise his power to ensure that the necessary finance, assessed at some £3 million, is available to the local education authority to enable it to carry out the wishes of the Secretary of State?
§ Mr. Mark Carlisle
Does my hon. Friend agree that his right hon. Friend's welcome decision about Bluecoat school as a school of high excellence shows that the Government listen to parental views on these matters?
§ Mr. Alton
While I welcome the decision to keep open Bluecoat school in my constituency, will the Minister now reconsider the decision to close state schools which are scheduled for closure this year in Liverpool? Will he accept that, when decisions of this kind are being made, it would be an improvement if the Ministers concerned could visit the schools affected by closure proposals?
§ Mr. Dunn
To take the latter point first, if I were to visit all the schools under consideration for closure by the Department I would spend no time in the House of Commons or at home in my constituency. Additionally, it is not possible for the Secretary of State to change an earlier decision. Those decisions are now legally binding on the local education authority unless fresh proposals are made by the local education authority itself.
§ Mr. Batiste
Can my hon. Friend assure parents in Leeds that he will give full weight to their representations opposing the closure of sixth forms in that city on grounds of viable numbers and proven worth?