Chase Terrace Secondary School, Staffordshire

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth 12:00 am, 2nd July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will advance the starting date of the conversion of the Chase Terrace secondary modern school, Staffordshire, to a six-form comprehensive school, in view of the rapidly increasing population, including overspill and private development, and the limited share of grammar school places received by pupils in the area concerned, and in the light of the recommendation in 1960 by Her Majesty's Inspector.

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Lewisham North

My right hon. Friend can make no additions to the major school building programme for 1965–66, which is fully committed. He is quite willing to consider a proposal from the Staffordshire authority to exchange the Chase Terrace project which is in its 1966–67 programme for any other in its 1965–66 programme of the same value.

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is absolutely unreasonable and that there is some evidence to suggest that there has not been a recent survey of the number of children in this area following the arrival of large numbers of overspill population? In view of this, is he aware that there is no freedom of choice at all for children who have achieved good results in the 11-plus examination and there is considerable frustration as a result of the tardy programme for the establishment of this comprehensive school?

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Lewisham North

These decisions are taken only on the basis of the best evidence available. On the basis of that evidence my right hon. and learned Friend was satisfied that the inclusion of the Chase Terrace project in 1966–67 would meet the area's needs.

Miss Lee:

Am I to take it from the Minister's reply that he is offering our local authority a choice of projects and that if it gives up something which is already included in the proposed building programme it can substitute something in its stead? After hearing all the representations made to him from the county and constituency level and knowing that this is an expanding area with considerable overspill populations, is this all that he can offer us?

Photo of Mr Christopher Chataway Mr Christopher Chataway , Lewisham North

I can assure the hon. Lady that the figures that the local education authority has collected have been very carefully studied by my right hon. and learned Friend, but the 1965–66 programme is now fully committed and it is not possible to add further projects in that particular area.

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

On a point of order. In view of the nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment very soon.