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New Housing Estates, Leicester

Volume 499: debated on Thursday 24 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware that, owing to the shortage of school accommodation on the New Parks Estate and on other new housing estates in the city of Leicester, there will have to be classes of some 50 children each; and if she will give permission for hutted accommodation to be used as a temporary measure pending the sanctioning of the original building programme.

I am at present considering with the local education authority their allocation for minor capital works in the current financial year. I expect that the authority will be providing some temporary classrooms at schools in the New Parks area and elsewhere.

Has the right hon. Lady appreciated the fact that these schools are being asked for in districts where young married people have been housed and where there are young children who have to receive education; and that unless something is done immediately quite a large number of these children will not be able to have school accommodation at all? There will be very large classes and a great social problem is being created owing to the action of the Government in cutting down further accommodation.

No, Sir, I do not think it is that. The local education authorities have discretion in the use of their allocation for minor works, which have been increased. I shall encourage them to use up the greater part of the allocation to provide additional classrooms.