HC Deb 04 April 1989 vol 150 cc13-4
14. Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures are being taken to find sponsors for city technology colleges.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

We have worked hard to bring the CTC programme to the attention of industry and commerce, and there has been a magnificent response to its aims of raising standards, increasing choice, and giving the private sector a say in how schools are run. Thirty-four million pounds—and unprecedented sum—has already been pledged, and much more will follow.

Mr. Hughes

Given that there is some reported indifference among big business to sponsorship of CTCs, what does the Secretary of State consider will be the effect of Tory-controlled Bexley deciding not to go ahead with one, and of the parents in Tory-controlled Croydon voting by 480 to 14 not to go ahead with a CTC? If parents say not to CTC, will the money from the sponsor be made available to the school, via the local education authority?

Mr. Baker

I should be grateful if the hon. Gentleman would make his views on CTCs known, because in the past he has attacked them. However, I gather that, as a member of the governing body of Bacon's school, he has voted for the proposals for that school to become a CTC to go out to consultation. He really should get off the fence.