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Building Programme

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 6 July 1950

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asked the Minister of Education what is the size of the complete educational building programme for 1951–52; whether this includes provision for colleges of further education and for extending the school meals service; and what is being done to ensure that the programme has relation to available sources of materials and building labour.

The total estimated cost of the educational building programme which my right hon. Friend will be able to sanction for 1951–52 is about £52.5 million, which includes provision for colleges of further education. The Minister regrets that the resources available will not enable him to re-establish, during the financial year 1951£52, a programme for extending the school meals service at existing schools; provision is, however, made for a meals service in new schools and for such minor works at existing schools as are necessary to maintain the efficiency of the service.On the last part of the Question, the educational building programme is part of the national investment programme, which is drawn up in relation to the resources of capital, labour and materials likely to be available for the country as a whole. Local education authorities have been asked to keep in mind local or regional shortages in the supply of building labour when putting forward proposals for the 1951–52 programme. On a number of occasions, they have also been asked to keep the labour position in mind when selecting methods of construction. In deciding which proposals can be sanctioned for inclusion in the 1951–52 programme, my right hon. Friend will be advised by the Ministry's regional priority officers, who are in close touch with the regional building committees. These committees, sitting under the auspices of the Ministry of Works, are responsible for the award of starting dates, the purpose of which is to avoid overloading the resources of building labour available in each region.


asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that the restrictions he is imposing on the school building programme in London are likely to result, by 1952, in there being about 30,000 London children of school age for whom there will be no room in the schools; and what steps does he intend to take to prevent an educational crisis in London two years hence.

It would appear from the information now available to my Department that the carrying out of the approved programme for 1950 and that which my right hon. Friend expects to be able to approve for 1951–52 should ensure that there will be sufficient school places. The prospects can be assessed more closely when my right hon. Friend has before him the results of the census, which I understand the authority have made, of the accommodation at their disposal in existing schools.