§ Mr. Townsend
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent correspondence she has had with the London borough of Bexley concerning the future of education in Bexley.643W
§ Miss Margaret Jackson
My Department wrote to the authority on 20th June 1977 requiring it, under Section 2(4) of the Education Act 1976, to submit within four months, in substitution for proposals previously submitted which had been found unsatisfactory, further proposals for giving effect to the comprehensive principle in schools in Bexley which would,inter alia, eliminate the proposed mixture of 11 to 16 and 11 to 18 schools unless the former were linked with sixth form or tertiary colleges.
The authority took counsel's opinion and, in a letter dated 27th October, informed the Department that it accepted the view of its education committee, namely, that there were legal problems concerning the letter of 20th June and that, until these were mutually resolved, it was unable to make further progress, save as respects matters appropriate to any scheme for comprehensive education which might be implemented.
I shall be replying to the authority in a few days.