During the last nine months my right hon. Friend has received written representations on this subject on four occasions. These representations related mainly to waiting times for admission to schools for senior Protestant girls, but since November, 1971, this has not presented any serious problem.
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the very detailed answer he gave me in writing yesterday on the particular problem I raised with him. Does he not accept that even against the background of that detailed answer the problem still exists, that children's panels experience great difficulty in finding places for the children with whom they deal and that that could seriously affect their working in the future?
I cannot fully accept what the hon. Gentleman says. At present there is no problem and there is no delay in putting girls or boys over the age of 15 into a List D school. It is still too early to say whether the introduction of the children's hearings has had an effect on the number of places required, but we are making additions to two girls' schools and extensions are planned for two boys' schools in the modernisation programme costing about 1½ million in the next two years.