§ 8. Mr. Bellingham
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has received in connection with state schools in west Norfolk.
§ Mr. Fallon
We have received representations about capital funding for several schools in west Norfolk. Earlier this month, I saw a deputation that opposed Norfolk education authority's proposals to close Bradenham voluntary controlled primary school, led by my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, South-West (Mrs. Shephard).
§ Mr. Bellingham
Will my hon. Friend the Minister pay tribute to the professionalism of Norfolk teachers and in particular to those who work in small, rural primary schools? He will he aware of the important role that such schools play in local communities. Will my hon. Friend confirm that, unlike the Labour group on Norfolk county council, he believes in small primary schools? Will he confirm that, provided they can deliver the national curriculum, they will continue to have an important role in modern education?
§ Mr. Fallon
Yes. I am happy to pay tribute to those teachers and to the well-run Norfolk education authority. It was one of the first to introduce local schools management, which paved the way for a series of applications for full grant-maintained status.