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Secondary Technical Schools, Middlesex

Volume 499: debated on Thursday 24 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Education how many secondary technical schools have been declared redundant under the latest plan of the Middlesex County Council; and what action she intends to take in this matter in view of the urgent need for technicians in industry.

The proposal of the Middlesex local education authority is to replace ultimately 21 secondary technical schools by the provision of alternative technical courses in other secondary schools. In considering the revised development plan, I will take into account all the relevant factors, including that mentioned by the hon. Member.

Is it not a fact that this will mean a diminution of secondary school places, particularly in technical education, and that this is a scandalous decision, in line with that of the Middlesex County Council? Will the Minister please ask this Tory council to think again about this particular decision they have taken?

I am surprised that it should be regarded as such, because, in a great many cases, it is the arrangement for the building of all new schools that have been multilateral or bi-lateral, and I know that many hon. Members opposite would like these comprehensive schools.

Secondly, it is aimed at providing that these schools do not take up places in the technical colleges, where too much space has been taken up and where other students are not getting all the opportunities they should have; it is not a cutting down of the number of places, but the authority suggesting a reorganisation of the new type of bilateral or multilateral school.