§ Mr. W. THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Education how many elementary schools under the London Education Authority have been reported on adversely as to playground accommodation and unsuitability or inadequacy of building premises; whether any attempt is being made to secure that long-standing deficiencies of this nature will be immediately made good; and what action he proposes to take?
§ Mr. FISHER
In 1913 and 1914 the Board forwarded to the London County Council lists of 137 Non-Provided Schools in London, of which the premises were defective in varying degrees as regards the extent of playground accommodation provided and as regards the condition of the buildings, or both. The outbreak of the War prevented any extensive action; but three of the schools have now been closed; in about twenty cases detailed plans for improvement were submitted, and in many others the matter was carefully discussed between the Board and representatives of the Managers and the London County Council. As regards Provided Schools, the London County Council agreed before the War to carry out a comprehensive programme extending over a period of years and involving an expenditure of over £5,000,000. During the first three years of the operation of the programme (1912–15) the London County Council carried out the greater part of what they had set themselves, with the Board's approval, to do during that period, and the remainder of the work was in an advanced state when, in the result of a Debate in the House of Commons on 13th May, 1915, it was agreed that no now work should be undertaken. The London County Council are now systematically, though gradually, resuming work on the programme, but I am1072W sure the hon. Member will appreciate the great difficulties which confront them.