§ Lord Wedgwood
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are satisfied that Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, is a cost effective establishment as an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley)
The constitution of the school places certain restraints on its governance and admission policy. Within these restraints we are satisfied that at present the school is run as a cost effective establishment.
§ Lord Wedgwood
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What criteria are followed in appointing members to the Board of Her Majesty's Commissioners for the government of Queen Victoria School, Dunblane; and
Whether they are satisfied that morale at Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, does not give cause for concern; and
Whether they believe that the proposed admission of girls in the academic session 1995–96 is in keeping with the history and traditions of Queen Victoria School, Dunblane.
§ Lord Henley
Responsibility for the subject of these questions is a matter for the Queen Victoria School. The Chief Executive of the Queen Victoria School has therefore responded to the questions and his letter is given below.
Letter to Lord Wedgwood from the Chief Executive of Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, Mr Brian Raine, dated 10 October 1994
The Under Secretary of State for Defence has asked me to reply to your questions about Queen Victoria School.
Firstly, you ask whether the proposed admission of girls is in keeping with the history and traditions of the School.
Given the changes which have taken place in society, education and the Armed Forces since 1908, the 96WA Commissioners have decided that it would be in the best interest of the School to become co-educational, in order to give equal opportunity to girls. The admission of girls is not seen as in any sense a denial of the concept behind the original foundation and the Commissioners are satisfied that the school's traditions can be maintained in a co-educational environment.
Secondly, you ask about the state of morale.
As far as the school is concerned there is no question of lack of morale causing concern. The last session was successful. The academic and extra curricular activities are developing in accordance with national advice, with the full support of the staff. We have a number of staff changes for the start of this session, all of whom are enthusiastic about the school, and everyone is optimistic for the future. The HMI have recently visited the school and expressed satisfaction with the progress made regarding our pastoral policy which has been developed within the school.
Finally, you ask what criteria are followed in appointing members to the Board of Her Majesty's Commissioners.
Her Majesty's Commissioners are appointed in accordance with the Royal Warrant by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Board shall comprise:
(a) Ex Officio:
The General Officer Commanding the Army in Scotland, to be Chairman of the said Board;
The Lord Justice Clerk
(b) Six persons, to be nominated by the Secretary of State for Scotland one to represent the Scottish Office Education Department and five others to represent variously each of the following places and areas in Scotland.
- -The City of Edinburgh;
- -The City of Glasgow
- -Highland, Grampian, Tayside and Central Regions, and Western,Orkney and Shetland Islands Councils;
- -Strathclyde and Dumfries and Galloway Regions;
- -Fife, Lothian and Borders Regions.
(c) Not more than seven persons to be nominated by the General Officer Commanding the Army in Scotland.
(d) One person to be nominated by the Admiralty Board of the Defence Council.
(e) One person to be nominated by the Air Force Board of the Defence Council.
The Assistant Under-Secretary of State (Adjutant General) or his successor in the Adjutant General's Secretariat shall be in attendance on the Board.
Commissioners will be appointed upon such terms as may from time to time be laid down by the Secretary of State for Defence save that Commissioners appointed under paragraphs (b), (c), (d) and (e) above will be appointed for a period not exceeding five years and will be subject to annual re-appointment upon reaching the age of 70 years.97WA
In selecting candidates to fill the appointments at (a) - (e) above the nominating authorities seek people with the required experience and character to act as school governors, and to maintain a balance of representation from the educational, military and business spheres and the Scottish regions.
I will be happy to supply any further information if you require it, and we would be honoured and delighted if you could accept an invitation to visit the school. Perhaps you could let us know of a convenient date.