§ Mr. Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will set up a new inquiry into the role and value of the small rural primary and infant school and prior to its report send a circular to local education authorities requesting a moratorium on the closure of such schools where possible.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
No. I have had a good deal of information from Her Majesty's Inspectorate, which confirms the views expressed in Chapters 13 and 14 of the Plowden Report. Where practicable, a movement towards area primary schools often extends educational opportunities. But local circumstances vary too much to justify a general policy, and I examine, on its merits and in the light of any objections, each proposal by a local education authority to close a school.