Secondary Education Reorganisation (Norfolk)

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th March 1969.

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Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn 12:00 am, 13th March 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement regarding progress on the reorganisation of secondary education in Norfolk.

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

I have received no plan from the local education authority but I believe that proposals for the area of the King's Lynn divisional executive are under consideration and I hope that these will be submitted as soon as possible.

Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great concern among teachers and parents at the terrible delay and the consequent delays in the rebuilding of urgently needed schools? Will she use her good offices to expedite this reorganisation as quickly as possible?

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

Yes. We have been doing everything that we can. I hope that Norfolk will soon be able to let us have some proposals. My hon. Friend will know that I have deferred my decision on the secondary school building programme until we have a clearer indication of the local authority's intentions for reorganisation on comprehensive lines.

Photo of Mr John Hill Mr John Hill , South Norfolk

Does the Minister agree that there are special difficulties in Norfolk mainly related to a very large geographical spread of schools, which makes it difficult to put forward proposals? Can the right hon. Lady confirm that the authority has undertaken not to put forward any building proposals which are not compatible with the future reorganisation scheme? Also, I express the hope that the Minister will visit Norfolk next month.

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

I recognise there are difficulties in producing a scheme for the whole area at once. But I think that we could expect the local authority to produce schemes for particular divisional areas. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will shortly be visiting Norfolk for two days, and he will be able to see these at first hand.

Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to provide for consultation of teachers' organisations during the preparation of schemes for the reorganisation of secondary education.

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

My predecessors and I have made it clear to local education authorities that we expect them to have close and genuine consultation with teachers. Circular 10/65 suggests ways of achieving this but recognises that the precise arrangements cannot be prescribed from the centre.

Photo of Mr Derek Page Mr Derek Page , King's Lynn

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the King's Lynn division, where plans for reorganisation are now in the final stages, teachers' organisations as such have not yet been consulted and that there is very considerable feeling on the matter among the teachers?

Photo of Mr Edward Short Mr Edward Short , Newcastle upon Tyne Central

I hope that the local authority will consult the teachers before arriving at any final plan. It is a case of holding the balance between the right and, indeed, the duty of the local authority to take decisions and its acceptance that teachers have a great deal of expertise and a great deal to contribute in the matter.