HC Deb 05 March 1970 vol 797 cc136-7W
38. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what special proposals he has in mind to mark the centenary of the Education Act 1870.

Mr. Edward Short

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will open an exhibition of school work at the Central Hall, Westminster, on 1st May. H.R.H. The Princess Margaret has accepted an invitation to visit the exhibition, and to attend a concert by the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, when a specially commissioned work by Mr. Bernard Rands will be given its first public performance. Two commemorative lectures will be given: by Sir Alec Clegg, chief education officer of the West Riding, whose chairman will be Lord Butler; and by Dr. F.S. Dainton, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham University, whose chairman will be Mr. Speaker. This programme was drawn up by the 1870 Centenary Working Party, I am grateful to the Committee for their work.

In all parts of the country local authorities and teachers are being encouraged to prepare their own programmes, and I have issued a preliminary calendar of events. The Westminster exhibition is available for use by local education authorities and has already been booked for showing at Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bristol and Northampton.

The following are the additional details: The programme at Westminster will include the first public showing of a film on the work of the schools ("Patterns of Learning") which will subsequently be available for free showing all over the country. On Saturday 2nd May parties of school musicians from areas as far apart as Northumberland and Southampton will attend the exhibition and give short concerts. An historical poster has been issued for all maintained schools, with a message to school children from the Secretary of State. A special issue of "Trends in Education" has been published. It contains 11 commissioned articles on 100 years of educational development. A set of archives will shortly be published by H.M.S.O. documenting the 1870 Act and its consequences.