HC Deb 16 July 1953 vol 517 cc182-3W
55. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Education how many schools in England and Wales were completed in 1950, 1951 and 1952, respectively; and how many it is hoped to complete in 1953.

Miss Horsbrugh

New schools completed during the years ending 1st February, 1951, 1952 and 1953 numbered 265, 360 and 519, respectively. I cannot forecast the number which will be completed during the 12 months up to 1st February next, but I expect that the number of school places brought into use during this period will be considerably greater than the number for the year ended 1st February, 1953.

58. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Education to what extent she is now able to give an accurate estimate of school-building requirements in the next three years; and what is her estimate.

Miss Horsbrugh

The need for additional school places depends on many factors besides the increase in the number of children, and I do not, therefore, consider it practicable to give an accurate estimate of requirements for three years ahead. Building works in progress and included in programmes which have been, or are about to be, announced to local education authorities, are likely to provide rather more than 600,000 new places over the three years 1954 to 1956.

59. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Education whether she has now replied in detail to the Select Committee on Estimates on the subject of their recommendations about the schoolbuilding programme; and in what terms.

Miss Horsbrugh

Yes, but it is for the Committee to deal with the publication of the reply.

60. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Education how far education authorities are now experiencing difficulty in securing an adequate supply of building materials for the schoolbuilding programme; and what action she is taking to prevent a slowing-down in the building programme because of shortages of materials.

Miss Horsbrugh

A number of authorities are finding difficulty in getting bricks delivered in the quantities and at the times required. My Department has been able to give immediate assistance in some cases, but the best ways to prevent such difficulties arising are by an increase in brick production, which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works confidently expects, and by the greater use of non-traditional methods of construction.

64. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Minister of Education in how many cases building of secondary schools was begun in 1952–53; and in how many building is planned to begin in 1953–54.

Miss Horsbrugh

During the 12 months ended 31st March, 1953, work on 148 new secondary schools was started. Work on another 39 started in April and May, and the programme of work to be started by 31st March, 1954, includes a further 201 new secondary schools.