Primary Schools (Temporary Structures)

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th February 1972.

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Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree 12:00 am, 10th February 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will approve the replacement of primary schools in development areas, which were put up after World War I as temporary structures, while there is a surplus of building labour in such areas.

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science

I have already authorised additional capital expenditure in development areas and the Government are continuing to examine the possibility of further additions to mitigate unemployment, and to improve outdated schools.

Photo of Mr John Tilney Mr John Tilney , Liverpool Wavertree

Could not the replacement of out-of-date primary schools rank as being of equal importance with the removal of dereliction in such areas? Would my right hon. Friend discuss the subject of grants for this work with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and in the meantime could not plans be finalised so that we may take advantage of the good building weather?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science

As my hon. Friend knows, Liverpool has had a very good primary school replacement programme—16 primary schools are being replaced during the period 1972–74. I know that he has a particular case in mind and I will consider it for the next programme.

Photo of Mr Edwin Wainwright Mr Edwin Wainwright , Dearne Valley

What does the right hon. Lady mean by "authorised"? Is she aware that there are far too many dilapidated schools not just in development areas but in the intermediate areas, too? Is it not time that she considered doing something even if it is only to help reduce unemployment?

Photo of Mrs Margaret Thatcher Mrs Margaret Thatcher Secretary of State for Education and Science, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science

I have announced a special programme of help for development areas. The hon. Gentleman knows that the school replacement programme is the biggest we have ever had.