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Modern Secondary Schools, Bristol

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 29 July 1954

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11.

asked the Minister of Education how many classes there are in the modern secondary schools in Bristol with over 30 pupils; to what extent the overcrowding is due to a shortage of teachers or accommodation; and if she will now agree to grant the number of schools requested by the local committee for the coming year.

There were 263 such classes in January, 1954. The Bristol education authority would require both more teachers and more accommodation to enable it to reduce to 30 the size of classes in its secondary modern schools. I have included in the authority's 1955–56 building programme and its reserve list all the projects designed to provide additional secondary school places for which they asked.

In view of the serious position in Bristol, will the Minister now consider reversing her previous decision to reduce the number of schools required by the education authority from 10 to seven? Will she help the local authority by granting money for the three schools?

As I pointed out, I have included in the authority's 1955–56 building programme and its reserve list new secondary schools designed to provide accommodation for about 2,750 children.

Is it not a fact that the Minister reduced the number of schools required by the local authority last year from 10 to seven and now, in 1955 to 1956, she is restoring the number to 10?

Bristol is carrying out an enormous building programme. It is building practically everything it possibly can and, in 1955–56, will be building to accommodate an extra 2,750 secondary school children.