§ Q3. Mr. Tim Smith
asked the Prime Minister if she will pay an official visit to Burnham grammar school.
§ Mr. Smith
Is my right hon. Friend aware that Burnham grammar school is a school of proven worth and excellence, which is widely supported by the local community and industry? Does she agree that the fact that there are only 150 grammar schools remaining in the country is a matter for considerable regret? Will she, therefore, ask the Secretary of State to think long and hard before approving any further closures?
§ The Prime Minister
I agree with my hon. Friend that grammar schools have served our country very well. Hon. Members on both sides of the House have great cause to be very grateful for the education that grammar schools have provided. For many of us they have provided the ladder from the bottom to the top. I will pass on my hon. Friend's views to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, but I understand that my right hon. Friend will not approve the closure of a school of quality unless he is satisfied that it is unlikely to be able to sustain that quality or that the alternative is likely to be better.