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Schools (Reorganisation)

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 26 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received about the Cowan Report to date; how many of the representations are in favour of the report's recommendations in whole or in part; and how many are opposed in whole or in part.

Since the Consultative Document on the Reorganisation of Secondary Education was published in July 1976 almost 1,400 submissions have been received from a wide range of educational interests and from the general public. The Government are considering these submissions at present and intend to make a statement on this subject within the next few weeks.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the working party on transfer arrangements to replace the 11-plus examinations was established; how many meetings were held; when it completed its work; when the report was published; to whom it was issued prior to its issue to hon. Members; and what is the estimated cost of the report.

The Working Party on Alternative Transfer Arrangements was set up in November 1976. It met on seven occasions, and several groups of the working party also held meetings to consider particular subjects. The final meeting of the working party was held on 7th April 1977 and its report was presented to the Minister of State on 8th April 1977. The report was published on 25th April 1977 and it was not issued to any one before that date. The total cost of the working party and of producing the report is estimated at £1,415.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how the members of the working party on transfer from primary to secondary schools were selected for appointment; and whether the members were acting on behalf of the bodies with which they are associated in the report.

The members of the Working Party on Alternative Transfer Arrangements were nominated by the organisations listed in the report.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many members of the working party on transfer management visited the Inner London Education Authority; how many and which London schools were visited in order to see the workings of the transfer arrangements there; and when these visits took place.

Three members of the Working Party on Alternative Transfer Arrangements visited the Inner London Education Authority from 27th to 29th January 1977. They visited the schools listed below and also had discussions with other teachers and with officers of the Authority.

  • Alan Edwards Primary School
  • Henry Fawcett Primary School
  • Barlby Junior Mixed School
  • Tulse Hill Comprehensive School
  • St. Joseph's (RC) Junior School

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the working party on transfer arrangements invited comments or suggestions from the public; what suggestions were received and from whom; and if these suggestions will be published separately.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether any specifically Northern Ireland research was undertaken by the working party on transfer arrangements.

The purpose of the working party was to consider possible alternative transfer arrangements for Northern Ireland and it obtained all the information it thought necessary to make its report.