HC Deb 02 July 1953 vol 517 cc40-2W
Mr. Turner-Samuels

67, 68 and 69. asked the Minister of Education (1) what steps she has taken to deal with and mitigate the worsening conditions in education revealed by the recent report of the Select Committee on Estimates, and, in particular, to secure the building of new schools and the repair and improvement of old ones; how many new schools in respect of which plans were initiated since October, 1951, have been started since that date; what is their location; and when work on them was first begun.

(2) what action she proposes to take, and when, to implement the policy of the Government that the school-building programme should, in general, keep pace with the housing programme; and What steps she has previously taken to have that policy implemented;

(3) what directives or instructions she has issued, what grants she has given, what licences she has issued, and what powers to take action she has granted to the local authorities concerned, to deal with the conditions of schools referred to in the recent report from the Select Committee on Estimates.

70 and 71. Mr. Short

asked the Minister of Education (1) what steps she proposes to take to revise the estimate of additional school places required;

(2) what steps she proposes to take to initiate a national survey of older schools.

Mr. Pickthorn

I would refer hon. Members to what my right hon. Friend said in the House yesterday. With regard to the last three parts of Question No. 67, my right hon. Friend has no information on the date at which work on plans was initiated by the local education authorities concerned, but between 1st November, 1951, and 30th April last building work on 629 new schools was started. Between the same dates my right hon. Friend approved major primary and secondary school building projects to a total value of £49.04 million and minor projects for schools to a value of £6.46 million.

79. Mr. Jay

asked the Minister of Education whether she will make a statement on the future school-building programme.

Mr. Pickthorn

My right hon. Friend cannot make a useful statement on the whole school-building programme in an answer to a Question. In the building programmes of the next few years, however, secondary schools will play an increasingly large part, as compared with primary schools.

80. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Education to give full details of the number of school-building projects which have either been completely stopped or amended; and the cuts or amendments made by her Department in the County Borough of West Ham's school building programme since October, 1951.

Mr. Pickthorn

On the first part of the Question I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the Member for Rugby (Mr. J. Johnson) on 25th June. When it became necessary in November, 1951, to impose a temporary ban on the starting of school building projects, there were five projects in the West Ham Authority's school building programme approved by my right hon. Friend's predecessor, four for starting in the building year 1951–52 and one for starting in 1952–53. Of these five projects one started in 1952–53 and one is to start in 1953–54. No date has yet been fixed for the start of the remaining three.

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