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Secondary Education

Volume 22: debated on Tuesday 20 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to announce his decision on future secondary education provision in the Exhall, Ash Green and Keresley areas.

My right hon. Friend has informed the LEA that he is minded to approve these proposals subject to a modification of the implementation date. The authority has been consulted on this modification in accordance with the provision of the Education Act 1980, and my right hon. Friend will announce his decision shortly.

I thank the Minister, but he will appreciate that, in the form that he gave it, his reply is not very meaningful? If I accept what he has said in the form that he said it, will he reassure himself that if the proposals are to go through, even in a slightly modified form, some of the building inadequacies will be examined? There were serious inadequacies. Will at least the best possible be done to remedy some of the building deficiencies, if for no other reason than that the scheme is not at all acceptable to the people living in the area?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, this is a difficult scheme. It was a long time in the Department, going backwards and forwards between the local authority and ourselves. The hon. Gentleman led a delegation, as I well know, to discuss, first, whether it should be implemented, and, secondly, on which date it should come into force. We are still in touch with the local authority, and hope that the final decision will be made very shortly.