HC Deb 21 July 1986 vol 102 cc10-1
12. Mr. Barry Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales which schools in Wales he has visited from November 1985 to June 1986.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

My right hon. Friend has visited Pembroke comprehensive school; I have visited Cardiff high school, while my hon. Friend the Member for Newport, West (Mr. Robinson), visited Malpas Church in Wales junior school in Newport.

Mr. Jones

Will the Secretary of State show more commitment to the local education authority schools in Wales? Is the Under-Secretary aware that the Social Security Bill may well eliminate some 27,000 free school meals in Wales, yet the community health experts and nutritionists are already worried about the low nutrition levels of many Welsh families? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many Welsh children depend for their nutrition upon free school meals? Bearing in mind nutritionists' worries, what will the Government do? Surely the Bill is wrong and will hit Welsh schoolchildren from the poorest families.

Mr. Roberts

The hon. Gentleman might be right in saying that a certain number of children will lose free school meals under the Social Security Bill, but an even greater number will benefit from the alternative scheme. We are totally committed to the maintained sector.

Mr. Grist

Is my hon. Friend aware that he will be a most welcome visitor to the Howardian high school in my constituency? That school is under threat of closure by the south Glamorgan authority, although it is one of the most successful in the county.

Mr. Roberts

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I know of his close connection with the Howardian high school. He will understand that there is scope for the rationalisation of secondary school provision, particularly because of the fall in pupil numbers. Local education authorities make proposals that are the subject of consultation. A closure proposal is referred ultimately to