Proposed Secondary Modem School, Hartland

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30 April 1959.

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Photo of Mr Mark Bonham Carter Mr Mark Bonham Carter , Torrington 12:00, 30 April 1959

asked the Minister of Education why he has rejected the proposal of the Devon County Council to include a new secondary modern school at Hartland in the county's school building programme.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Sutton Coldfield

I have not included the proposal in the building programmes for 1960–62 because I am not satisfied that this is the best way of providing secondary education for the area. The question is being further discussed locally.

Photo of Mr Mark Bonham Carter Mr Mark Bonham Carter , Torrington

Is the Minister aware of the special circumstances at Hartland? Before taking this decision, which overrules the recommendation of the county council which had the full backing of the rural district council, the parish council, the Hartland School Association and the manager, did any of his officials look at the circumstances on the spot?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Sutton Coldfield

There seems to be a difference of opinion locally, because I believe the local education authority took a different view.

Photo of Mr Mark Bonham Carter Mr Mark Bonham Carter , Torrington

Is the Minister aware that the great mass of opinion in Devon, and in Hartland itself, is united on this matter? Did he take into account the social value of a school in a very remote and scattered community? Is he aware that some of the children will be travelling as much as three hours a day by bus if his suggested plan goes through?

Photo of Sir Henry Studholme Sir Henry Studholme , Tavistock

Is it not a pity that the hon. Member for Torrington (Mr. Bonham Carter) should have made in this connection remarks in his constituency about Government expenditure calculated to mislead the electorate?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Sutton Coldfield

I think the real question is whether there should be a new school at Hartland or expansions in Bideford and Bude, and this is an important matter which will be discussed further locally.