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Immigrant Pupils

Volume 828: debated on Thursday 16 December 1971

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will consult with the Home Department to ascertain the area in which the immigrants who are now known to be eligible to receive work permits have indicated they will settle for the purpose of enabling her to estimate the number of children of school age for whom places will be required; and whether she will seek powers to give extra help to those local education authorities who are likely to have a large influx.

I am in touch with my right hon. Friend about this matter. Authorities with substantial numbers of immigrant pupils are already eligible for special help under various provisions.

Is the right hon. Lady aware that there is not the slightest racialist overtone in this Question and that integration in my area is fantastically good, thanks to the help of the Community Relations Committee, the Willesden Chronicle and the Kingsbury News, which give excellent coverage to these matters? Is the Minister aware, however, that if we must have this large number of people needing school places, we would be grateful for the maximum amount of practical help to enable us to absorb the large number in my area?

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for those comments and I assure him that we shall do our best to help.

To what extent, if any, is the concentration of immigrants now a criterion in allocating money in the urban programme?

It is still one of the criteria. The criteria have not changed since the right hon. Gentleman was in office.