HC Deb 15 May 1924 vol 173 cc1564-5W

asked the President of the Board of Education (1) if his attention has been called to the further overcrowding of the West Hill Schools, Dartford, as the result of the attendance of hundreds of children from the neighbouring area of Crayford, for whom there is no local provision; and if he will institute an inquiry into the shortage of both elementary and secondary schools in the crowded and rapidly growing residential areas of Crayford, Dartford, Bexley Heath, and Welling;

(2) if his attention has been called to the lack of educational facilities or suitable accommodation in the Crayford area of Kent; if he can state the age of the present church schools; and how much longer the meeting halls that have been used for temporary schools will be recognised as suitable for and deserving of educational grants, in view of the fact that they in no instance comply with the Board's Regulations?


I am aware that overcrowding exists at Dartford and Crayford, though not, so far as I know, at Bexley Heath and Welling. The Board are at present investigating all cases where the provision of elementary and secondary school accommodation does not reach a reasonable standard of adequacy, and the areas named are being brought under review in this connection. They have already agreed to the acquisition by the local education authority of a site for a new public elementary school at Dartford, and they have informed the authority that they are prepared to consider detailed proposals for a similar purpose at Crayford. As regards the provision of secondary school accommodation in this area, proposals are at present before the Board for extending the premises of the Dartford Grammar School and for acquiring a site at Erith for a new secondary school, and I am giving instructions for these cases to be dealt with as expeditiously as possible. The Church of England School at Crayford was built between the years 1813 and 1838, and the Roman Catholic School about 1859.