HC Deb 05 February 1980 vol 978 cc151-2W
50. Mr. Newens

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the effects of falling rolls on the quality and variety of education in comprehensive school sixth forms.

Dr. Boyson

My right hon. and learned Friend is concerned to ensure that local education authorities make effective provision for post-16 educational opportunities, making the best use of schools and further education, as year group numbers fall in the 1980s. This is one of the subjects being examined jointly by the Department of Education and Science and the local education authorities; and this Department has sponsored a research project by Professor Briault of Sussex university on the effect of falling rolls in secondary schools, the results of which will shortly be available. It will remain the responsibility of local education authorities to decide what measures to take in their areas to safeguard sixth form provision, bearing in mind the need to avoid uneconomic expenditure.

52. Mr. David Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is satisfied with the present standard of comprehensive schooling.

Mr. Mark Carlisle

There is always room for improvements in educational standards, in comprehensive as in other schools. The Government's aim is to promote the highest possible standards of achievement in all our schools. The forthcoming consultations on our proposals for a framework for the school curriculum and recent measures to strengthen the training of teachers are directed to this end.