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Schools (Black List)

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 23 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Education how many of the 2,828 schools placed on the Board of Education black list in 1925 are still in use today.

By 1938 the number of schools on the black list had been reduced to 871.

Since the war, local education authorities have submitted annually lists of the most important and urgent replacement and improvement projects they wished to do. These lists have always exceeded the investment totals that could be permitted, but I have little doubt that very few of the schools on the original black list have not either been closed or improved.

Would the Minister agree that that Answer is completely evasive? I should like to know the number of schools on the black list today. Surely he has means of ascertaining the number. If he cares to write to local authorities they will be able to supply him with the necessary information.

If we kept a list of this kind we should have to have the criteria, which were not very satisfactory before the war, and add to the list schools which were becoming obsolete.

As things are at present, it seems better that we should leave it to local authorities to determine their own needs.

Surely the right hon. Gentleman can reply to my hon. Friend's Question. It is not beyond his resources to give the number. Why cannot he give the number and an undertaking that the elimination of this black list is a priority?

I do not think that the black list as it was in 1938 is very relavant today, but I have no doubt that what the hon. Gentleman asks could be done.