HC Deb 16 January 1964 vol 687 c54W
48. Mr. Talbot

asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that the present provision for grammar school education for girls in Staffordshire, including in particular the parishes or districts of Codsall, Bilbrook, Wrottesley and Aldersley within the constituency of Brierley Hill, is inadequate, that children have to travel long distances by bus and train in order to attend grammar schools in Bilston and Willenhall and this travel is injurious to their health, and that the provision of accommodation for girls at Brewood Grammar School in accordance with his decision is urgent and immediate;and whether he will authorise Staffordshire County Council to proceed with the improved facilities necessary to accommodate girls at Brewood within the financial year 1964–65.

Sir E. Boyle

I approved last year the proposal to enlarge Brewood Grammar School so that it might cater for girls as well as boys because this offered the best long-term plan for meeting the educational needs of the area. But I informed the Staffordshire Authority at the time that I could not add the necessary building project to the 1964–65 programme since, although the present arrangements for girls are inconvenient there is no immediate shortage of grammar school places for them. The Authority have now asked me to include the project in their 1965–66 programme and I am considering this proposal with all the others put forward by local education authorities for the programmes for 1965–66 to 1967–68. I hope to announce my decision before Easter. I will certainly take into accountany evidence that travelling to school under present arrangements is injuring girls' health if this is sent to me.