Skip to main content


Volume 499: debated on Thursday 24 April 1952

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Minister of Education whether she has considered the protest of the Parents' Association of Landewedneck County Primary School, Cornwall, a copy of which has been sent to her, against the proposed reduction of staff; and what action she proposes to take in this matter.

Yes, Sir, but I do not think that the circumstances of the case justify my intervention in a matter which is within the discretion of the local education authority.

Is the Minister aware that the hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. G. R. Howard) and the local county council have made representations to the local education authority on this matter and that the school is 10 miles from the nearest secondary modern school at Helston? Does not she think these senior children need some special consideration? Will she reconsider the matter?

I agree that the hon. Member for St. Ives, in whose constituency the school is situated, has been in touch with the local authority since the middle of March. The decision was that of the local authority, but I can assure the hon. Member, from what I have heard from the local authority and from the hon. Member for St. Ives, that they are looking after the matter, and I think we shall get a satisfactory result.

On a point of order. As this last Question concerns the division which I have the honour to represent, perhaps I may put a supplementary question.


asked the Minister of Education how many all-age primary schools in Cornwall have between 100 and 109 scholars on roll; how many of these have three teachers; and how many four.

Eleven, of which five have three, and six have four teachers. These figures relate to January, 1952.

It is difficult for a Minister to answer when there is a great deal of noise, however much he or she speaks out. The answer is 11, of which five have three and six have four teachers. These figures relate to January, 1952.

Is the Minister aware that the local education authorities have now laid down that these six schools with four teachers shall have their staffs reduced to three—[HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."]—and does she consider that a class of 36 children with an age range of three or four years and of both sexes is a satisfactory class unit for a teacher, and will she request all local authorities to see that such classes of over 90 children should have four teachers?

Yes, Sir, and I have already asked local authorities to staff up to their full requirements under their quota scheme. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the revised staffing scale of the authorities allows for four teachers to be employed when the roll reaches 105.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the case of one of these schools the matter has been sub judice? She has no doubt seen the resolution I forwarded to her. Is she aware that that is the reason why I have not approached her so far? I thought it only fair to give the county education authority a chance to think again with the man on the spot.

I should like to thank my hon. Friend for what he has done. Having been told of the difficulty, I explained that the decision as to the number of teachers was that of the local authority, and I suggested the course, which he has followed, of taking up the matter with the local authority. That he has now done, I believe most successfully.