(2) if, before reaching a decision on the North Devon reorganisation proposals for secondary education, he will give consideration to the effects of the proposals on various grammar schools in North Devon, particularly Bideford, Edgehill, Stella Maris Schools.
There is serious and justified concern in the area at the removal of sixth-form education from the grammar schools and the effects which this may have. Will the right hon. Lady take into account the wishes of the people in the area and consult them thoroughly before any decision is made?
Yes, Sir; in coming to a decision I shall take all opinion into consideration. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman understands that it is impossible for me to comment in detail on a plan which I have not yet received.
I share the views expressed by the hon. Member for Torrington (Mr. Peter Mills). Is the right hon. Lady aware that the reorganisation of sixth-form education is a matter which stirs up great controversy, and will she agree that when any scheme comes to her it is right that the governors, the teachers and the parents should all have had full opportunity to make their opinions known to the education authorities, and that it would be the view of her Department that this should have been done?
Yes, of course. I always want the full range of opinion to be taken into consideration, and we shall consider all that opinion before the decision is taken. But we have not yet received any formal request from Devon.