§ Mr. Jessel
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what factors will be taken into account in deciding which schools will qualify for inclusion in the assisted places scheme.
§ Dr. Boyson
In considering applications from schools wishing to participate in the scheme, my right hon. and learned Friend will be looking for schools which can show breadth and balance of curriculum to GCE O- and A-levels, a well-established sixth form offering a range of A-level subjects with reasonable numbers of candidates, good achievements in external examinations, appropriately qualified and stable teaching staff and appropriate teaching facilities and accom-350W modation. Regard will also be had to other matters, including the desirability of securing an equitable distribution of assisted places throughout England and between boys and girls, the admission arrangements and the fees proposed by each applicant. Other things being equal, priority in considering applications will be given to direct-grant grammar schools and to independent schools which were formerly voluntary schools maintained by local education authorities.