§ 8. Mr. Shersby
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many secondary schools in the London borough of Hillingdon have now been approved for grant-maintained status and how many applications are still outstanding.
§ Mr. Eggar
Eight schools in Hillingdon have now been approved for grant-maintained status. There are no outstanding applications. That number, which is almost half of Hillingdon's secondary schools, is both a testament to the support shown by Hillingdon to GM status and a rebuke to those local education authorities that remain hostile to the policy.
§ Mr. Shersby
Is my hon. Friend aware that Hillingdon is leading the country in recognising parents' wishes? Does he agree that grant-maintained status plays a significant role in raising the morale of the teaching profession, raising education standards and improving the fabric of buildings?
§ Mr. Eggar
I agree completely with my hon. Friend. The move to grant-maintained status has been overwhelmingly supported by the parents of pupils at the Hillingdon schools that opted to go grant-maintained. When I visited Bishopshalt school with my hon. Friend, I saw for myself the superb improvement in equipment and facilities that it has managed to achieve only shortly after attaining grant-maintained status.