HC Deb 26 June 1930 vol 240 cc1355-6W

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the programme of the West Riding local education authority to provide for reorganisation and accommodation for an additional age group is estimated to cost £2,280,000 and to require more than six years to complete; that the programme of the Manchester local education authority indicates that reorganisation of the provided schools only, apart from the Roman Catholic and Church of England schools, will be completed in only half the districts into which the city has been divided by the end of 1933; and whether he is satisfied that in these areas there will not only be sufficient school places but that the accommodation, equipment, etc., in the schools which are not reorganised will be suitable for the advanced education of the pupils who, after the 1st April, 1931, will be obliged to attend them till the age of 15?


The West Riding local education authority estimate that they will need to incur capital expenditure amounting to £1,129,695 during the three years 1930–33 on new elementary schools and the improvement of existing schools. This estimate allows for improved provision for juniors as well as seniors, and also for new schools required as a result of housing developments. While the authority estimate that a further three years' period, ending in 1936, must elapse before reorganisation is complete, their programme shows that, pending the actual transfer of older children to senior schools, it should be possible to provide special instruction, including practical work, for such children either in temporary centres or in their present schools, and that the necessary emergency accommodation for classrooms and practical subjects should be forthcoming without the erection of temporary structures.

The programme of the Manchester local education authority contemplates that reorganisation will be completed by the 31st March, 1933, in 15 of the 31 school districts of the city. This programme provides not only for children now attending council schools, but also for those now in Church of England schools. Pending the completion of reorganisation, I am advised that there is no doubt that adequate arrangements can and will be made for the older children.

I am accordingly satisfied that both in the West Riding and in Manchester there will not only be sufficient school places for the extra age-group which will continue in the schools after 1st April, 1931, but that, even in those schools which are not reorganised, the accommodation and equipment will attain the high standard at which these two authorities have always aimed.