HC Deb 29 November 1995 vol 267 cc754-5W
Sir Wyn Roberts

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to extend the assisted places schemes in Wales. [3685]

Mr. Hague

As I mentioned in the Welsh Grand Committee earlier today, I proposed to double the number of places available under the assisted places scheme in Wales over a period of time. Over 700 pupils in Wales are currently benefiting from the scheme which makes an important contribution to our policy of parental choice, diversity and excellence in education.

I propose to invite bids for additional places from schools already participating in the scheme and other schools which have reached an appropriate standard. Schools must be able to provide a broad and balanced curriculum and have a good record of performance in public examinations.

Bids will be invited for places at age 11 or 13, where there is currently a high demand, and at sixth form, bids will also be invited for places for children below age 11 years in junior departments which form an integral part of secondary schools.