HC Deb 20 March 1979 vol 964 c518W
Mr. Newens

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she is satisfied that the proposals of the Essex county council for the future of the Royal grammar school at Colchester and the Davenant foundation are compatible with her criteria for a satisfactory scheme of comprehensive education in Essex; and if she will make a statement on provisions for comprehensive education in the United Kingdom.

Miss Margaret Jackson

The Government remain committed to the achievement of a truly comprehensive system of secondary education at the earliest practicable opportunity.

It is for local education authorities and in the case of voluntary schools, the governors to submit proposals for this purpose and every scheme is considered on its merits.

My right hon. Friend aproved on 2 February 1977 under section 13(4) of the Education Act 1944, as amended, proposals made by the governors of the Davenant Foundation (voluntary aided) grammar school for the school to admit an all-ability mixed intake as soon as possible after September 1979. The governors intend to implement this proposal in September 1980. She has received under section 2(4) of the Education Act 1976 separate sets of proposals from the Essex education authority and from the school's governors for comprehensive reorganisation of the voluntary controlled Colchester Royal grammar school. These proposals will be considered further when she has received the county council's formal response to her request that it reconsiders the establishment of a sixth form college scheme for the area.