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School Boards

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 9 December 1987

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19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many officials in his Department are currently engaged in assessing the merits of the response to his consultative document on school boards; and if he will make a statement.

It is for Ministers to make judgments about the merits of the arguments put to them.

Once again the Under-Secretary of State avoids the question. Will he say what criteria he uses to assess these responses and when he is likely to tell us the result? Will he once again confirm that in the responses there is no support whatever for the ceiling proposals and that these will be left out of the later legislation?

I can do better than that. I can direct the hon. Gentleman and anyone else who is interested to the House of Commons Library or to St. Andrew's House, where I have arranged for copies of all the submissions, other than those marked "confidential", to be available. There is no secret, and I think that the hon. Gentleman will find, after he has spent some days examining these responses, how impossible it is for us to make the kind of crude analysis that he requests.