HC Deb 17 March 1987 vol 112 cc806-7
9. Mr. Wainwright

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the number of pupils now expected to be achieved by the first city technology college in each of the first four years of operation; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold

The build-up of pupils in the first city technology college will depend on decisions yet to be taken about the preparation of the accommodation and the admission of pupils. In our discussions with sponsors we have emphasised that where possible we would like more than one year group to be admitted to a CTC from year one, and that we expect to see them move to full capacity as quickly as possible.

Mr. Wainwright

As to the initial stages of this first technology college to be established, about what proportion of the total cost will be covered by the sponsorships that have so far been obtained?

Mrs. Rumbold

The proportion of the cost for which we have sponsorship relates to the capital, that is the cost of the buildings. My right hon. Friend will be supplying the costs for the revenue expenditure and that will depend on the number of students who enter the college at the first stage.

Mr. Holt

May I thank my hon. Friend on behalf of my constituents in Saltburn and Langbaurgh for the wise decision to keep the Huntcliff school open. I hope that my hon. Friend does not seek to rest on her laurels or those of her colleagues, because in Langbaurgh planning application is already at an advanced stage for a CTC. The public notices are up and the money is coming in, led by Davy International. Please do not listen to Alistair Graham, listen to the people of Teesside. They want the CTC.

Mrs. Rumbold

I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend. I know that the initiative for the CTCs is widely welcomed, not only by people and parents, but by industrialists.

Mr. Skinner

The truth of the matter is that industrial chiefs are not sending money for those colleges for two principal reasons. First, they are fed up to the back teeth with the Tory party chairman sending begging letters asking for money to fight the general election. One of them was alleged to have said, "They have a damned cheek asking us for money to fight the election and asking us for money to look after these colleges at the same time." That is the real truth of the matter and that is why the Government are unable to get the money they thought they would get in the first place.

Mrs. Rumbold

Quite apart from the fact that I would have liked to know the second reason, I can assure the hon. Gentleman that all his speculation is completely unfounded. The CTCs are finding good support from industrialists.