§ 20. Mr. Michael J. Martin
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, when he next expects to meet Strathclyde regional council representatives to discuss education within the region.277W
§ 29. Mr. Dunnachie
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will meet representatives of Strathclyde regional council to discuss problems in the educational field within the region.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans at present to meet representatives of Strathclyde regional council to discuss education.
§ Mr. Allan Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many representations he has received concerning the proposed reorganisation of school education in Strathclyde; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Rifkind
At the most recent count I have received 2,555 representations including three petitions in connection with the proposed reorganisation of school education in Strathclyde. I recognise that difficult decisions will have to be taken by Strathclyde and other education authorities in rationalising school provision so as to reduce surplus capacity. But I am also concerned that the options being considered include the closure of schools which are so highly regarded by parents that they remain full to capacity even at a time when school rolls generally are falling.
I have therefore decided to take powers to review in certain circumstances education authorities' proposals for school closures. I am laying regulations today — the Education (Publication and Consultation etc.) (Scotland) Regulations 1988 — which will require education authorities to submit for my consent any proposal to close or reorganise a school where the pupil numbers exceed 80 per cent. of the school's capacity.