St. Minver School, Cornwall

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th May 1959.

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Photo of Mr Frank Hayman Mr Frank Hayman , Falmouth and Camborne 12:00 am, 7th May 1959

asked the Minister of Education what reply he has given to representations about the inadequate staffing of St. Minver County Primary School, Cornwall.

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a letter which my right hon. Friend has sent on the subject to the Wadebridge Rural District Council.

Photo of Mr Frank Hayman Mr Frank Hayman , Falmouth and Camborne

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this school of 120 children is a mixed school with a seven-year age range and has recently had its staff reduced from four to three teachers? Does he not think that that is a disgrace in this age, especially in a parish which is the playground of the well-to-do?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

Neither my right hon. Friend nor I has ever left the House in any doubt that we regard cutting down the size of classes as still the prime and most important objective of education policy, and I hope that improving conditions will make it easier to help a school like this.

Photo of Sir Harold Roper Sir Harold Roper , North Cornwall

As St. Minver School is in my constituency, may I thank my hon. Friend for writing to me about it? The view has been expressed locally that some sacrifice should be made in the staffing of the higher grade schools in order to provide relief in the primary schools. Would my hon. Friend care to comment on that view?

Photo of Sir Edward Boyle Sir Edward Boyle , Birmingham Handsworth

In the country as a whole, in recent years we have been able to make considerable improvement in the staffing standards in primary schools without doing this at the cost of the staffing standards in secondary schools. I must say that I think that we have been absolutely right to take this stand.