HC Deb 22 June 1961 vol 642 cc162-3W
87. Wing Commander Bullus

asked the Minister of Education whether he will make a statement on the development of the colleges of advanced technology.

Sir D. Eccles

I am proposing to the local education authorities that the control of the colleges of advanced technology maintained by them should be transferred to independent governing bodies who would receive direct grant form my Department.

In the five years since they were designated these colleges have made remarkable progress, and the Government are considering what further plans for expansion the colleges should be authorised to make beyond the present approved total of 14,000 places. Their success in developing as national institutions of higher education has raised many new problems of planning and staffing. The colleges are outgrowing the local government framework which has served them well and the time has come to consider a change.

So after informal consultations with representatives of the local education authorities concerned and with the knowledge of the Robbins Committee, I am writing to the authorities and to the associations of local authorities and teachers to suggest that C.A.T.s should be given a new status. This change would open the way to the further development of the colleges and would, in particular, help them with their staffing problems, without prejudicing the consideration which the Robbins Committee will be giving to their long term future. The Government do not contemplate any other change in the status of the C.A.T.s before receiving the report of that Committee.

The colleges, if they receive this new status, would wish to retain close links with the local authorities who have done so much to help them, and I am proposing that the authorities should continue to be represented on the new governing bodies.