HC Deb 19 December 1989 vol 164 cc180-1
2. Mr. Dykes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will establish a city technology college in the north-west London area.

Mrs. Rumbold

A number of sponsors have expressed an interest in sponsoring a CTC in the London area. We are willing to consider any proposal that meets the programme's criteria and has the support of industry.

Mr. Dykes

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. In view of the suggestion that such an institution might be established in the Brent Cross area and the excellent potential of such new institutions, what does my hon. Friend think the effects would be on neighbouring boroughs, including my constituency?

Mrs. Rumbold

The criteria for drawing up the catchment areas for CTCs are decided as and when CTCs are established. My hon. Friend is right to say that they are an extremely valuable addition to our complement of educational buildings and schools.

Mr. Flannery

May I express the hope that no CTC will be established in north-west London? If it is established, can that be done with money from private industry, as we were promised, instead of siphoning off Government money, as happened in Nottingham, where upwards of £8 million was taken for one school and 500 others will be deprived?

Mrs. Rumbold

The hon. Gentleman should talk to parents in Nottingham who are clearly voting with their feet in support of the city technology college. I do not share the hon. Gentleman's hope that there will be no CTC in north London.

Mr. John Marshall

Does my hon. Friend accept the suggestion that there should be a city technology college on the Whitefield school site in north-west London, as it has been warmly welcomed by the governing body of the school, and it will be warmly welcomed by parents in the surrounding area?

Mrs. Rumbold

If we had sufficient support from industry—that is, 20 per cent. or more—and if the section 12 notices relating to such a proposal came forward, the Government would be happy to consider the proposal favourably.

Mr. George

Perhaps I can help the Minister. If she wants to establish a CTC, she can give away the one that is about to be established in my constituency. Why, when the local authority is trying to close two or three secondary schools in the area, is there a requirement—by that well-known education authority, the Black Country development corporation—to establish a further school?

Mrs. Rumbold

The hon. Gentleman is confusing the difficulties that some local authorities have in persuading parents to accept the schools that they support in the maintained sector, and the new thoughts that come to parents when they consider CTCs and what they provide. The excellence of those schools is demonstrated by the number of parents supporting them and the number of teachers who wish to teach in them. It is clearly the will of the people to have new choices, and to support different types of school within the maintained sector.

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