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Shawbury Community School

Volume 979: debated on Tuesday 26 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the proposed closure of the Shawbury community school in Coleshill.

I understand that the children's regional planning committee and the Birmingham city council are considering the closure of Shawbury school. Before it can be closed, they will need to seek my right hon. Friend's approval to the appropriate amendment to the regional plan.

Is my hon. Friend aware of the extreme concern, expressed locally, about the change in national policies and the withdrawal of community school services, and the particular nature of the problems caused to the staff due to the linking of their employment with tied homes?

We are alive to those problems, but until we hear from the regional planning committee, my right hon. Friend cannot say whether the West Midlands needs the places. On the broader question, alernative methods have been found for looking after those children, which in many ways are better than community homes with education. I support that trend.