Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1970 Mar 17 Tu
Margaret Thatcher

HC Standing Committee [Education Bill]

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: House of Commons Committee
Venue: House of Commons
Source: Hansard HC Standing Committee A [89-136]
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: 1030-1300. Third Sitting reproduced in its entirety. MT spoke at cc.89, 108, and 114.
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 16657
Themes: Education, Primary education, Secondary education
[column 89-90]

EDUCATION BILL

Standing Committee A

OFFICIAL REPORT

Tuesday, 17th March, 1970

[Mr. John Brewis in the Chair]

Clause 1

Principles affecting provision of secondary Education

10.30 a.m.

Further Amendment No. 33 proposed:

In page 1, line 10, leave out

“have regard to the need for securing” and insert:

“secure by 1st September 1975” .—[Mr. Newens.]

Amendment negatived.

Amendment No. 10 proposed: In page 1, line 11, leave out

“secondary education is provided only” and insert:

“there is provision for secondary education” .—[Mrs. Thatcher.]

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 9. Division No. 3.]

Ayes

Boyle , Sir Edward

Eyre , Mr. Reginald

Hill , Mr. J. E. B.

Lane , Mr. David

Lewis , Mr. Kenneth

Montgomery , Mr.

Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

van Straubenzee , Mr.

Noes

Armstrong , Mr. Ernest

Bacon , Miss Alice

Evans , Mr. Fred

Jones , Mr. J. Idwal

Mahon , Mr. Simon

Newens , Mr. Stan

Price , Mr. William

Short , Mr. Edward

Woof , Mr. Robert

Amendment No. 13 proposed: In page 1, line 13, at end insert:

Provided that in any case of conflict the provisions of section 8, subsection (1), of the principal Act that the schools available for an area shall not be deemed to be sufficient unless they are sufficient in number and character to afford for all pupils such variety of instruction and training as may be desirable in view of their different ages, abilities and aptitudes, shall be overriding.—[Mrs. Thatcher.]

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 9. Division No. 4.]

Ayes

Boyle , Sir Edward

Eyre , Mr. Reginald

Hill , Mr. J. E. B.

Lane , Mr. David

Lewis , Mr. Kenneth

Montgomery , Mr.

Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

van Straubenzee , Mr.

Noes

Armstrong , Mr. Ernest

Bacon , Miss Alice

Evans , Mr. Fred

Jones , Mr. J. Idwal

Mahon , Mr. Simon

Newens , Mr. Stan

Price , Mr. William

Short , Mr. Edward

Woof , Mr. Robert

Mrs. Margaret Thatcher

I beg to move Amendment No. 14, in page 1, line 13, at end insert:

Provided, however, that in the fulfilment of their said duties every local education authority shall ensure that convenience and suitability of school accommodation for the general purpose of secondary education shall be the prime consideration.

We propose this Amendment because of the difficulty which a number of local authorities have over the provision of proper school buildings and proper equipment. The importance attached to equipment stems from Section 8 of the Education Act, 1944, where, in the part that we have quoted a number of times, the duty laid upon the local authority is that

“the schools available for an area shall not be deemed to be sufficient unless they are sufficient in number, character, and equipment to afford for all pupils opportunities for education” ,

and so on. The importance of buildings [column 91]and equipment was appreciated from the first.

In Circular 10/65 which went out from the right Edward Shorthon. Gentleman's Dept. there was a paragraph headed

“Some general considerations on the importance of buildings” .

Paragraph 25 said:

Where existing buildings cannot easily be adapted to a new pattern, authorities in drawing up the plans must balance against each other the following factors” .

Sub-paragraph (i) deals with a consideration mentioned in a previous paragraph. Sub-paragraph (ii) deals with

“The educational disadvantages which may attach to schemes designed to make use of existing buildings where these do not lend themselves adequately to a comprehensive system; and (iii) the possibility of recasting building programmes announced but not yet implemented.”

That brings us straight away to the building programme. For those who have not the advantages of a Department behind them it is very difficult to know at any one time the state of the education building programme, because there is a programme of starts announced in any one year, then there are delays, changes or alterations, there are programmes of improvements and then there are alterations in the cost figures.

The one paper for which many of us are very grateful is that written by Mr. Tyrrell Burgess, who has almost become one of our best advisers when it comes to education building programmes. He attempted to analyse the present state of play with regard to the education building programme and the latest circular. He points out that the improvements programme, a part of which is to go for secondary education, is only half as good as that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle), but since then there have been other changes in the programme. The right hon. Lady the Alice BaconMinister of State has announced cost increases. It is difficult to see how those affect the precise programme.

Part of the extra £15 million for the improvements programme was for those authorities which required special provision for reorganisation of their secondary education programme. I know that a number of authorities hope that they will get a very small part of that £15 million. My [column 92]own is one of them.

That is the state of play at the moment and local authorities are left trying to battle with inadequate buildings, as the Minister recognises. He also recognises the importance of having adequate buildings for the success of the scheme.

I pray in aid one other quotation before I move on to some of the practical difficulties. It comes from “The Future of Socialism” by Mr. C. A. R. Crosland. In talking about Labour education policy, he included a paragraph which referred to buildings and their importance in the comprehensive system. He said on page 274:

“Thus even within the state sector there can be no question of suddenly closing down the grammar schools and converting the secondary moderns into comprehensive schools. The latter require a quite exceptional calibre of headmaster, of which the supply is severely limited:

… and buildings of an adequate scale and scope—and most secondary modern buildings which would have to be converted would be quite unsuitable. Until and unless the proper conditions exist, it would be quite wrong to close down grammar schools of acknowledged academic quality. The result would simply be a decline in educational standards, and discredit the whole experiment.”
That is a very telling paragraph which was not exactly honoured in the present Bill. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland) who wrote that book appreciates the importance of proper buildings for the success of his theories. There was the difficulty when we had the report, which the Richard CrossmanSecretary of State for Social Service later denied, about the imposition of Health Service charges to provide money for more all-in schools.

That brings me to some of the practical problems which have led present and past Ministers to appreciate the significance of having proper buildings and proper equipment for the success of their own schemes. All of us here had to draw quite heavily on our own experiences in our own constituencies or areas where problems are personally known to us. because we are associated in one way or another with some of the church schools. In my constituency—the Secretary of State will probably be aware of this because he will have received some representations about it—there is one very difficult scheme. Things would be very much easier if we could have £300,000 of the £15 million available to provide proper laboratories on a new site.

[column 93]

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Edward Short)

This is a constituency speech.

Mrs. Thatcher

I said to my Chief Education Officer that ours is not a deprived area, but he carefully pointed out to me that it came within the fourth point of the Minister's improved programme.

I use this example to illustrate one of the problems. There are two schools which are between one and two miles apart, across two main roads on a two-tier system. The lower school has not sufficient laboratory accommodation for an all-ability intake. The upper school, which is the old grammar school, has not enough practical accommodation, either by way of metal-work rooms or woodwork rooms, for an all-ability intake. The only answer is to build sufficient accommodation on a third site.

I know of other schemes, not in my own area, where there is a link-up and where the upper part of the linkage has been given to the school that happens to have land available for development, but that is not the part which has the best laboratory accommodation, so pupils will have to go by buses from one part to another, usually in the luncheon break. Getting proper laboratory accommodation is one of the practical problems concerned and it may damagingly affect the education of the children if a scheme is pushed ahead before proper buildings and equipment are available.

There are other problems which teachers have put to me, and, I am sure, to the right hon. Gentleman, about not having sufficient buildings in some respects. First, with a linked school there are never facilities for grouping the whole school together as a unit. The assembly halls are not large enough. The lower school can meet as a half unit and the upper school can meet as a half unit, but it is extremely difficult to provide any facilities for getting the whole school together at any one time. Obviously that must be to the disadvantage of the feeling of community in the entire school.

I recognise that linked schools have one advantage in that they break up a very large organisation. One of the most worrying things about compulsory secondary reorganisation is that a number of children do not flourish in very large schools. It is a little ironic that at one end we are creating very large units and, at the other end, we are creating very small schools for [column 94]children who are emotionally maladjusted, because one recognises that they need special treatment in small boarding schools, and nothing in between. A number of children would profit from going to much smaller schools. I recognise that comprehensive schools in two buildings might relieve the situation in which a child is part of an enormous unit in that the child would be part of a smaller unit.

Those are some of the practical problems involved. There are one or two others concerned with some of the church schools which I know where, however much they may wish to go comprehensive—and some of them undoubtedly wish to do so—they have not the number of pupils in an area or, if they have, they have not the funds to provide the proper buildings. The purpose of the Amendment, therefore, is to make certain that the scheme shall not go ahead unless there is provision for proper school accommodation and that the accommodation shall be such that it does not lead to great inconvenience by people having to go from one part of the school to another at a time which could be awkward. We realise there will have to be a certain amount of travelling by both masters and pupils, particularly to laboratory accommodation. There must be instances when it would be better to leave things as they are until the proper building programme is forthcoming.

10.45 a.m.

Mr. David Lane

I support my hon. Friend the Member for Finchley (Mrs. Thatcher). At the first sitting of the Committee I was rebuked by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Christopher Price), whom I am glad to see back with us this morning, for what I said about buildings. We acknowledge that there are education problems which are more important than buildings, particularly the quality of teachers. If hon. Gentlemen opposite play down the importance of suitable buildings in the next advance in secondary education, they are burying their heads in the sand. It is right that we should spend some time this morning seeing what it involves.

My hon. Friend has already quoted from Circular 10/65 and the relevant remarks of the right hon. Member for Grimsby (Mr. Crosland) in his book in 1965. The present Secretary of State admitted in earlier debates the enormous sums of [column 95]money which would be involved and the fairly considerable time over which this changeover would have to be spread. We have already, therefore, I hope, a good deal of support from hon. Members opposite in what we are attempting to do by the Amendment.

I am glad that my hon. Friend mentioned the difficulty of getting the figures clear, with all the announcements and changes in policy which we have had in the last few years. Looking back to the beginning of 1968, when raising the school leaving age was postponed, the result was a cancellation of building programmes amounting to £36 million in each of the financial years 1968–69 and 1969–70. This left many authorities in considerable difficulties in planning the next stage of their building programme. To some extent, the special allocation was made to help fill the gap which these cancellations left. However, we come to the latest series of announcements on building programmes, particularly those made by the right hon. Lady the Minister of State last November. If I have disentangled the figures correctly, leaving out the latest allocations for the eventual raising of the school leaving age, in the current three financial years ending April, 1972, the building programme for schools as a whole will be very little higher than it was in 1967–68.

Given those figures, various questions arise in my mind. One is to what extent the allocations for raising the school leaving age may be transferable to the change-over to a comprehensive system. We would like an answer to this question from the right hon. Gentleman or the right hon. Lady. Is it envisaged that some of this extra money labelled “school leaving age money” can be used for reorganisation? There is confusion about this. If this is to be the case, are they still confident of the school leaving age date which now stands and that this will not be an undue strain on many authorities?

I should make clear that I am in favour of sticking to the date. I am not trying to undermine it, but let us have the implications quite clear. If some of that money is to be used for reorganisation, where will the authorities stand when the school leaving age is raised? The only other source I can see for the extra money necessary for reorganisation is in that part of the building programme allocated, not for [column 96]basic needs, but for improvements. We know from the figures, if I have interpreted them correctly, that the improvements part of the allocation has been kept very tight in recent years compared with the figures of only a few years ago. The amount of only £10 million for improvements in the financial year 1970–71 rising to £15 million in 1971–72 has already been quoted in these debates.

My hon. Friend mentioned the article by Mr. Tyrrell Burgess in the “red paper” . As it is necessary that we should have this clear I must quote two or three sentences from it. Mr. Burgess writes:

“We can now return to Miss Bacon 's announcement about £15 m. for systematic improvement. It turns out to be a rather sour joke.”

Then he said:

“Where Sir Edward Boyle was able to allocate a quarter of the total programme to improvement, Miss Bacon manages ⅙th—and that five years later.”

I remind the Committee how Mr. Burgess ends his article:

“The School Building Survey of 1962, which really did try to discover the state of schools, decided that a quarter of all primary schools and ⅙th of all secondary schools should be rebuilt and very nearly a half of all schools should be extended and brought up to standard. In the face of such staggering need, Miss Bacon's £15 m. must be regarded as peanuts.”

I therefore repeat the question, where is the money to be found for reorganisation? I hope that whichever Minister replies will be very frank with the Committee about this.

There are two sides to the problem. First, there is the question of purpose-built comprehensive schools. I am not arguing—and I hope that there will not again be any misrepresentation from hon. Members opposite—that all comprehensive schools must be purpose built, though that is the ideal if it is possible. I am sure that the whole Committee will agree that purpose built comprehensive schools, where they exist, are bound to be very expensive. It is not practical politics to try to do this on the cheap. Secondly, there is the linking up of existing buildings which is, I suppose, the majority case problem with which most authorities have to deal.

My hon. Friend drew special attention—and I am glad that she did—to the problem of laboratories, for example, and the different type of provision there is in secondary modern schools and existing [column 97]modern grammar schools with one lot designed for one purpose and another for a different purpose. Yet we have in many cases to face the problem of combining a grammar school with a secondary modern school and of extending them both to make a comprehensive. That is one of the possibilities in Cambridge. We are lucky in having two excellent and up-to-date buildings, both well below the ideal size for a comprehensive. They are only 400 yards apart. With suitable extensions, I believe, though not everyone locally agrees, that they could become an entirely satisfactory comprehensive. It is no good shutting one's eyes to the extra money involved, even for extending two reasonably suitable schools.

The other possibility of adapting existing buildings is where there is one school on a fairly isolated site—for example, a good grammar school. A girls' grammar school in Cambridge, of which we are exceedingly proud, is programmed to be considerably enlarged to become a comprehensive. Two or three miles away, in a quite different part of the city, there is an outstandingly good secondary modern—the sort of school about which, unfortunately, the Secretary of State is so often rude and uncomplimentary—for which, after two years' delay, we have an allocation of money for a large scale extension. We are very grateful for that. Whether we are grafting on to one good existing school or trying to combine two or even three with the necessary adaptations, we will need large sums of money—and we still have no answer to the question of where will it all come from.

I have several supplementary points on which I hope either the Secretary of State or the right hon. Lady will give us their views, because they are extremely relevant to the people who will be at the receiving end of the Bill if and when it is passed, namely, the local authorities.

The Secretary of State said, at the first sitting of the Committee:

“We want the change to be a great deal more than that,” ——

“that” being the putting up of different notice boards—

“a genuine change-over to a genuine comprehensive unit capable of catering for the full age range. I shall not approve any botched-up schemes.” —[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 10th March, 1970; c. 41–2.]

I am sure that we all agree with that. [column 98]

My supplementary first question is this: Would the Secretary of State tell us a little more about the criteria he has applied to the schemes which have been coming before him and his colleagues for approval during the last two or three years, and does he envisage applying the same sort of criteria in the crucial two or three years ahead? What criteria will apply to buildings, the subject of the Amendment?

Could we be told more about the Department's thinking as to the size range for comprehensives in view of experience in comprehensives in cities and rural areas? I get conflicting views, both from those who are for and against comprehensives, about a suitable size for schools. We agree that we must adapt and not have a standard size. However, many people are talking of a range between 1,000 and 1,500. Even accepting that most comprehensives fall between that range, there is still the problem of the relatively diffident child who may be bewildered in a school with as many as 1,000 pupils.

Near to where I live, though not in my constituency, is a large, famous, or to some people infamous, comprehensive called Holland Park.

Mr. Christopher Price

Infamous?

11.0 a.m.

Mr. Lane

There are different views about this [Hon. Members: “Shame” .] Some people have had experience of meeting the pupils on their way home.

Mr. Christopher Price

Why did the hon. Gentleman say “Infamous” ?

Mr. Lane

One must accept the bad as well as the good. I have a feeling that this school is getting near the upper tolerable size.

Mr. Christopher Price

Anybody who lives near to any school may, on seeing the children going home, have certain objections. Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that hon. Members should refrain from using adjectives like “infamous” in this context?

Mr. Lane

If my use of the word “infamous” has offended anybody, I willingly withdraw it. Suffice it to say that a seriously unfavourable impression has been given to many people living near this school. Perhaps they see only one side of the problem. I agree that there is a problem with any school, but the bigger the [column 99]size, the greater this problem is likely to be.

Mr. Short

The hon. Gentleman is talking absolute nonsense.

Mr. J. Idwal Jones

Snobbery.

Mr. Lane

This has nothing to do with snobbery. We must face up to the facts. I mentioned this school because I happen to have heard about it in the area in which I live. There are similar problems with smaller schools in my constituency.

Mr. Short

Would the hon. Gentleman apply the same comments to Eton or Manchester Grammar School?

Mr. Lane

Certainly.

Mr. Christopher Price

Are they infamous?

Mr. Lane

I do not want to be distracted from the serious point I am making by playing with words. Eton, Manchester Grammar, Holland Park and a secondary school in my constituency about which I have received some complaint all have problems. However, there is one problem which one must consider when thinking of the size level and the make-up of schools.

I hope that we will be told more about the geographical separation problem, to which there was reference on Second Reading and in Committee. How far can one go in approving schools that are separated by some distance? For example, to what extent will it be considered appropriate for pupils or teachers to have to move between buildings? While I do not regard the moving of pupils or teachers from one building to another over a certain distance as an absolute bar, we should be told how, in applying the various criteria to approving schemes, this geographical factor will be taken into account.

I am glad that we have had an opportunity to debate an Amendment which represents a cautionary light to the Committee. While it may not raise a matter of top importance, it flashes a cautionary light over the change-over scene, and this is an issue which should be discussed before we part with this part of the Bill.

Mr. Christopher Price

I am pleased that hon. Gentlemen opposite have been studying some Socialist literature. That will do them a lot of good. I assure them that they will find many more interesting quotations if they continue reading our [column 100]literature. They might care to quote a few from some of the articles that I have written on this subject.

Some of my hon. Friends are not frightened to criticise the Government, and I still believe that the decision not to raise the school leaving age was disgraceful, particularly bearing in mind the cutback in school building, although——

Mr. W. R. van Straubenzee

Before the hon. Gentleman proceeds, and in view of his stalwart statement about being prepared to vote against the Government, may I ask him to explain why he was not in his place earlier to vote against the Government on an Amendment which stood in his name?

Mr. Christopher Price

If the hon. Gentleman will be patient, I will answer his question. In any event, there will be plenty of opportunities to do what he wants me to do, should I want to take them.

We all agree that there are certain elements in our present educational system which act against good education or the ideal which we would like. One element is unsatisfactory buildings. Another is selection at 11. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say that when drawing priorities between those two in deciding which is the worst blight on the education system, we should keep selection at 11 if it involves the buildings being at all unsatisfactory. I say that selection at 11 is such a serious blight on the education system that the need to get rid of it over-rides all the other unsatisfactory elements in the system. This is a genuine argument which we can have.

However, it is no good just talking about unsatisfactory buildings. Some of us represent constituencies which had unsatisfactory buildings throughout the 13 years of Conservative rule, during which we did not hear the sort of passionate concern about these buildings that we hear from hon. Gentlemen opposite now.

Mr. Fergus Montgomery

The hon. Gentleman was not here then.

Mr. Price

I read Hansard occasionally. Or am I wrong, and in fact hon. Gentlemen opposite were throughout those 13 years attacking the terrible secondary modern school buildings?

Sir Edward Boyle

Is not the hon. Gentleman rather begging the question? [column 101]Where there are unsatisfactory buildings—and we agree that a number of schools are still badly in need of replacement—somebody must still use those schools after the age of 11, whatever pattern of secondary education we have. In that sense it seems that reorganisation will not in itself have the effect which the hon. Gentleman seems to be assuming it will have.

Mr. Price

I was endeavouring to make that point. I agree that, in terms of our secondary school stock of buildings, there are some in which a certain number of pupils can sit and that there is only a certain rate at which those buildings can be replaced. My argument is that if we get rid of selection, then, unsatisfactory though the result may be in terms of, for example, journeys for children and staff, that act will be more important than the inconvenience which will be caused to staff and children.

I believe that whether or not a school is successful depends very little on the buildings. It depends to a greater extent on the morale of the staff and the head and the quality of the ideas of perhaps just a few teachers. I recall schools in Sheffield, where I had some responsibility for the education system, which, though they were situated in appalling buildings, were far better than some of the brand new schools that we have built.

I accept what the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle) says. I cannot speak for my right hon. Friends, but I think that one must not lose sight of the buildings problem, if only because it is the primary responsibility of the Government to provide the source. In discussing this matter in the context of ending selection, however, the difference between the two sides is that my hon. Friends say that the ending of selection is an overriding primary responsibility of the Government, while hon. Gentlemen opposite say that it is not.

The hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane) seemed to imply that the money in the capital programme for raising the school leaving age was different from the money in the capital programme for the comprehensive system or for the normal secondary school programme. Responsibility for the difficulties which we now face in going comprehensive lies solely with hon. Gentlemen opposite because of the laissez faire attitude they adopted to [column 102]secondary school building throughout the 1950s and 1960s. While they did that in a completely undoctrinaire way, I agree, the result is that we are left with a stock of new secondary modern and grammar schools which, in many cases, many people could have said, when they were built, would present the country with a serious problem at a later date.

Whatever label is placed on the present building programme, it should be used to raise the school leaving age and, of course, to help the comprehensive system. Many cities are using their r.s.l.a. programmes simply to build one new comprehensive school instead of adding additional classrooms to a number of schools. This is a good idea, but whichever way it is done, it should be used to help the move towards comprehensive education. In other words, the different money and different programmes should be used for the same purpose.

Mr. Lane

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman would not wish to mislead the Committee. He has blamed the Conservatives for the present state of affairs. Is he aware that difficulty has arisen because the Government are trying to push this legislation through, along with the raising of the school-leaving age—I agree that the money should not be in watertight compartments—after having mishandled the economy in recent years, which led them to cut back on school building?

Mr. Price

My point is that to have used the money saved by postponing the higher school leaving age on buildings in this way would have been even more absurd, because the Opposition would have allowed it to be used on small units of secondary schools in an out of date concept, and would thereby have made the problem more serious.

11.15 a.m.

Mr. Montgomery

The hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Christopher Price) accused the Conservative Government of acting in an undoctrinaire way towards secondary education. He seemed to attack us on that score. I see nothing to attack in any party behaving in an undoctrinaire way. It is a pity that the Government do not act in that way as well. The hon. Gentleman said that he could not speak for Ministers and I [column 103]thought that I detected a sense of relief in the Secretary of State and the Minister of State.

I do not altogether agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane). If we are to have a comprehensive system of secondary education, it should be in purpose-built comprehensive schools. I am sure that this is the eventual aim of the Government. On 12th February, the Daily Telegraph claimed that the costs of having nothing else but purpose-built comprehensive schools would be about £2,000 million. I am curious to know how much of that money will be forthcoming.

In my constituency, I have a number of comprehensive schools, including a very famous one, Regis School, Tettenhall, now in the borough of Wolverhampton.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Miss Alice Bacon)

Destroyed.

Mr. Montgomery

I suggest that the right hon. Lady and the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr, who attacked the school on 10th March, should check their facts before making such statements. At our first sitting, the hon. Member for Perry Barr said:

“Unsatisfactory circumstances have arisen where good comprehensive schools have been progressively run down by people who worship at the altar of keeping grammar schools going.”

I asked for an example and the hon. Gentleman said:

“I was thinking of the Regis School, Tettenhall …” —[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 10th March, 1970; c. 20.]

I suggest that before he and other hon. Members make such rash statements they should check their facts. That school is an excellent school. It has had an excellent record since it was built. Let hon. Members opposite talk to the Director of Education and the headmaster, who will tell them how excellent the school is.

Miss Bacon

I do not deny that it is an excellent school. I am sure that it is very good. But the hon. Gentleman is missing the point. When it was under Staffordshire County Council, it was a complete comprehensive school. Since it has gone into Wolverhampton borough, selection has been introduced so that selected children are taken to grammar schools in Wolverhampton. That was the point we [column 104]were making. We were not criticising the excellence of the school.

Mr. Montgomery

I suggest that right hon. and hon. Members opposite do their homework in future before making such suggestions. It is true that selection is permitted in Wolverhampton. The right hon. Lady should tell us how many children in the area have elected to go to the Regis School. The fact is that the school has built up a tremendous reputation and that parents in the area are so impressed that they want their children to go there. If we are to have a policy of comprehensive education, it should be with purpose-built comprehensive schools. The case of the Regis school underlines my point. Can the right hon. Lady tell us how many purpose-built comprehensive schools we have?

There are too many schemes in which schools some distance apart have been joined together. I disagree again with my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge—and I am sorry to disagree with him so often today. I believe that to have children and staff trekking backwards and forwards between school buildings is bad and will cause upset. In the second “black paper” a comprehensive school teacher says:

“Most Senior pupils do some commuting. The majority of the staff also do some; about a quarter of the latter do a lot …   . Several of the forms have to wait 10–15 minutes (sometimes longer) for teachers to arrive.”

If buildings are separated, there will always be delays.

Mr. Stan Newens

I taught in a school of that type and conditions such as those the hon. Gentleman refers to are by no means necessary. If the organisation of the school is bad, there will be the sort of delay he mentions, but one might get bad organisation in other schools as well. It is quite unjustified to suggest that creating a school from different buildings on sites some distance apart inevitably leads to these delays. It is an unfair accusation.

Mr. Montgomery

Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that the children are all in separate cocoons in one building all the time? Is there not intermixing between buildings?

Mr. Newens

Of course there is, but the children can transfer during the lunch hour or in the break. At the same time, however, depending on the school—I am not suggesting a set pattern—it may be [column 105]possible for one building to deal with certain years, so that there is no necessity for continuously moving between buildings. The hon. Gentleman knows that where there is only one building involved pupils will use only part of it for the majority of the time. It is by no means impossible to arrange matters so that movement between different buildings is kept to the absolute minimum.

Mr. Montgomery

The hon. Gentleman apparently taught in a school in which a great deal of thought must have gone into planning the timetable. But he will admit that there are schools where trekking takes place.

When I was at primary school, many years ago, we had to go to another school for woodwork lessons. Most of my fellow pupils disliked the time spent in going to another school because they liked woodwork. It did not worry me because I loathed it and the longer we took to walk there the less we spent on woodwork, which pleased me. To the rest of the class, it was something of a punishment. The primary school was so old that it did not have a playground and we had to play in the street. Here, I agree, for once, with the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr; I do not think that buildings are everything. Teachers are far more important. That primary school was an appalling building and each teacher had to take two classes. When I began to teach I wondered how they coped. The headmaster himself took two classes plus the scholarship class. How the teachers managed I do not know. Allowing for the importance of teachers, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree with me that buildings also have some importance, however.

Many good schools are in old buildings. They have splendid teachers. But how much better would they be in better buildings! There are too many old primary schools. I fear that primary schools will not get high enough priority for replacement because the Government are hell bent on a policy of complete comprehensivisation. I fear that whatever resources there are for school buildings will be concentrated on the secondary sector to the neglect of the primary sector. I hope that the right hon. Lady can ease my mind on that score.

Miss Bacon

I find the terms of the Amendment rather peculiar but I am glad [column 106]it has been moved and debated because it gives me an opportunity to say something about the school building programme.

The Amendment is unnecessary because my right hon. Friend already has powers to ensure that the premises of maintained schools reach a proper standard. Section 10 of the 1944 Act and the regulations made under it deal with requirements for maintained school premises. The regulations prescribe standards for buildings, playing fields, and so on, of schools of different kinds. Section 13 of the Act, amended slightly since, requires authorities or others proposing to establish new schools to submit specifications and plans of the school premises to the Secretary of State. The Bill is rather inappropriate as a means of adding to the building regulations.

I am not quite clear about what is meant by saying that this should be the prime consideration. I will not go 100 per cent. of the way with my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Christopher Price) in saying that secondary school buildings do not matter at all, but I think it curious for the Opposition to move an Amendment which says that school buildings, location, and so on, are the prime consideration, because I agree with my hon. Friend that the prime consideration of our education system should be the children and not the buildings.

I sympathise with those who do not understand how the school building programme works and are sometimes confused by the various sets of figures. When I went to the Department, I found the programme difficult to understand, but we have been simplifying the system, which had grown up over many years and was confusing. The system, which was also worked by the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle) when he was at the Department, was that every year a starts programme was given for the next year beginning 1st April. But the local authority did not have to start the programme within that year. There was thus a backlog of school building starts which had been sanctioned in previous years, sometimes some years before, but which local authorities had not yet started.

In 1968, the value of this backlog was [column 107]£70 million and one of my headaches, when the Government decided not to raise the school leaving age then, and thereby take £30 million out of the school building programme, was in ensuring that this could be done under the system as it then was. I shall not discuss whether postponement of the higher school leaving age was right. All I am saying is that, with the system as it was then, which had grown up over the years and had been worked by successive Governments, the Government had no jurisdiction over the rate at which school building progressed, because when we said we were going to take £30 million out of the school building programme in order to postpone the raising of the school leaving age, local authorities could then just dip into the £70 million and take the £30 million out of it. This meant that the Government of the day, without taking other steps which have been mentioned this morning by the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane), did not have control over the school building programme.

Sir E. Boyle

I am surprised that the hon. Lady wants to take so much credit for this. Under the Conservative Party, and indeed under the Labour Party, until the measures following devaluation had been authorised to a local authority in a building programme, that local authority had that project “in the bag” even if it did not start it in the year for which approval had been given. The right hon. Lady, by saying in Circular 6/68 that the backlog should be re-submitted, inflicted a considerable cut on the school building programme, and it is ridiculous to pretend otherwise.

11.30 a.m.

Miss Bacon

If the right hon. Gentleman will wait, he will see that the system allowed local authorities to leave something “in the bag” for 10 years and then conveniently take it out; and no Government had any control whatsoever over the amount of school-building which was taking place within any particular year. Now we have changed the system and every local authority and all local authority associations will tell me or anybody else that now, for the first time, they have a system under which they know where they are.

We have a three-year system of preliminary lists, design lists and starts lists. But [column 108]anything which is in the starts list for one year must be started in that year. This is very sensible because the authorities will have known for at least two years that a particular school in the starts list was in the pipeline. We have now brought some order out of the chaos that existed before.

I did not understand what the hon. Member for Cambridge meant by saying that that school-building programme would remain almost exactly where it was a few years ago. Let me give, first of all, figures of the building starts. This includes minor works, primary and secondary, from 1959 onwards: in 1959–60, £57 million; 1960–61, £78 million; 1961–62, £79 million; 1962–63, £89 million; 1963–64, £86 million; 1964–65, £87 million; 1965–66, £93 million; 1966–67, £114 million; 1967–68, £130 million; 1968–69, £120 million; 1969–70, £143 million; and with the 10 per cent. we have just put on to the cost limits, the 1970–71 figure will be £178 million, and the 1971–72 figure, £193 million.

Mrs. Thatcher

Costs have gone up.

Miss Bacon

I fail to see how the hon. Member for Cambridge can say that there has been a fall.

Mr. Lane

I cannot have made myself clear. I was arguing that, if we leave out of account the addition put into the programme for raising the school leaving age, the rest of the programme is broadly the same as the level I quoted for 1967–68.

Miss Bacon

It is difficult for me to do the arithmetic while I am on my feet, but the hon. Gentleman will see that is not so. But, whether it is because of the raising of the school leaving age or not, these are the resources being devoted to new school building. If we subtract this, that and everything else, at the end of the day we may be left with nothing.

Mr. Reginald Eyre

Would it be possible for the right hon. Lady to quote figures taking into account the fall in the value of the money, which would be helpful and realistic?

Miss Bacon

I explained that a fortnight ago I announced a 10 per cent. increase in future school building programmes to allow for costs that have increased.

Mrs. Thatcher

£17 million.

Miss Bacon

We have added the 10 per cent. as from next year to all school build[column 109]ing programmes. The cost limits were last reviewed three years ago, in 1966. For secondary school building we have a total over the seven years from 1965 to 1973, including the raising of the school leaving age programme for 1972–73, of £520 million. This is on secondary school building alone—major building. There has been a special allocation for comprehensive reorganisation and for the raising of the school leaving age.

I am sorry that mention has been made today of the so-called “red paper” and what was said in it about improvements and basic need. We all know that the school building programme, as I shall show, is divided artificially into basic need and improvements. Basic need, to which successive Governments have devoted most of the additional building, is to provide not only for extra population but for moving population. It is not only the total increase that is important. When new housing estates and new towns are built, local authorities are faced with building new schools for this new population, which is probably a moving population.

“Improvements,” in the jargon of my Department, arise when a school is almost demolished and another of the same name is built practically on the same site. But here there is a great overlap between what is called “improvement” and what is called “basic need” . Hon. Members have been referring to their own constituencies this morning. I will refer to mine, because this shows more than any other example I can give the kind of thing that happens.

In my constituency there is an area which some years ago was full of back-to-back, one-up, one-down slum houses with old schools. The local authority decided to redevelop the whole area and the children there went to schools on a new housing estate. The local authority had to build schools for what was called the new population, on the outskirts of the city where there were no new schools. This was called basic need. After a year or two, the local authority decided to rebuild on the empty space near the centre of the town where the old houses had been demolished. New houses and flats of 10 to 12 storeys and new schools were built and people came in from other areas of the city where slum clearance was taking place. Again, this was called basic need.

On that criterion there was no improvement according to the person who wrote [column 110]the “red paper” . [Interruption.] I know there is a sentence about it.

Mrs. Thatcher

Two paragraphs.

Miss Bacon

But it is very strange that if Tyrrell recognised this he should have talked in the language he did in the first paragraph of the relevant section.

In this area hundreds of children have gone to new schools. New schools have been built and old ones have been demolished, and yet according to the jargon used in my Department there has not been a single “improvement” . New schools are new schools, and for the children who go to them they are improvements, no matter whether the building on one site is demolished and another is built there or whether it is moved to another part of the city.

I have been asked what criteria we use in looking at local authority schemes. I have dealt with these schemes for the last two years, and I can honestly say that I have not imposed any unsatisfactory scheme on any local authority. There have been none of the so-called “botched-up schemes” about which we have heard a lot from hon. Members opposite. In many instances I have had to ask local authorities to look again at their schemes because I have thought they have been a little optimistic about the time in which they considered these would be due to start.

I have been asked about divided premises. There are some in the reorganisation schemes, but there are also divided premises in other cases, particularly in schools under the private system of education. There are some famous public schools with divided premises. But we look carefully at each scheme in which the local authority requests that a school should be on two different sites, and we go very carefully into the circumstances. I can honestly say that there has been no approval of any scheme where the children would be put at a great disadvantage through working in separate premises.

I was asked how many purpose-built comprehensive schools there are. Out of a total of 630 comprehensive schools in existence in January, 1969, 158, or one in four, were purpose built. In addition, 16 schools were taken into use in September, 1969. A further 164 purpose-built comprehensive schools are in the pipeline, either under construction or in the building programme. I believe this shows that a [column 111]considerable number of schools are purpose built. But 22 authorities have approved plans involving separate 11-to-14 and 14-to-18 schools. Sixty local authorities have approved plans including middle schools, because it will be appreciated that a local authority which adopts a middle school system can use smaller buildings much better than it would be able to do in some instances with an 11-to-18 scheme.

The hon. Member for Cambridge asked about the size of comprehensive schools. We said in Circular 10/65 that we thought a school should be at least six-form entry in order to be able to run properly as a comprehensive school. [Interruption.] If the hon. Lady would listen she would hear what I was saying and I would not have to keep repeating it. I said that we stated in Circular 10/65 that a six-form entry comprehensive school was the least, in normal circumstances, that could run as a comprehensive school. But in a few areas, particularly in rural areas, we have approved in exceptional circumstances five-form and four-form entry schools. We have not laid down anything about the maximum size.

Sir E. Boyle

The right hon. Lady may recall that in the discussion on the Bill postponing the London government elections anxiety was expressed by several people about some comprehensive schools with lower than six-form entry—with five-form and in some cases four-form entry. Can she give the Committee an assurance that outside rural areas she is trying to keep rigorously to six-form entry as a minimum?

Miss Bacon

We try to keep to six-form entry. We allow five-form or four-form entry only if the local authority has put up a very good reason for it. But we have not laid down what the maximum size should be. We look at the plans which we receive from the local authorities. In my view, the advantages are all with the large school, because there is a wide range of subjects which the children are able to take; and there is a very good sixth form. Therefore, one should not accept the fact that a big school necessarily means an unwieldy one. It usually means that there is a very wide range of opportunities available for the children who go there.

Mr. van Straubenzee

The right hon. Lady has always been very helpful on this [column 112]point. I do not think that anyone on this side of the Committee argues against the merits of a comprehensive school with a realistic intake. My hon. Friend was pleading the case for the option for a child in rather special circumstances who might require treatment in a much smaller school for human reasons, but who did not medically require that treatment.

11.45 a.m.

Miss Bacon

I am not sure what kind of child the hon. Gentleman has in mind. We might come to that later.

This debate should not be about the size of the school building programme—although we have a very good story to tell there. The essential aspect is how we are using the available school building programme. That is partly why we have this Bill. We know that some local authorities find it more difficult than others to produce a comprehensive scheme because in the past they have had some very small grammar schools and secondary modern schools. But it would be very foolish if we were to allow the great amount of building resources that are to be put into local authority areas in the next few years to be used in a pattern of separate secondary modern schools and grammar schools. We should then be making it all the more difficult for local authorities to go comprehensive in the future. They would be building to a past system and not to a future system.

Part of the reason for this Bill is that we must ensure that the millions of £s which are going into school buildings will be put into the kind of buildings which we believe should be the pattern for the future. We cannot let local authorities continue to build separate secondary modern and grammar schools which will be out of date before they are built. That is why we want to ensure that the available money will be used in the best possible way.

I was a little surprised that the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth (Sir E. Boyle) should intervene to say that some children would have to be in the old schools. That is perfectly true. Whether we have a comprehensive system or not, some children will be educated in older schools. However, we believe that we have a very realistic school building programme. We believe that what we have done in this field has been worth while in the last few years, in spite of great difficulties. We now have a school building programme which [column 113]is much higher than at any other period in our history. We have to ensure that it is used in the best possible way. We believe that that is the way for the furtherance of the reorganisation of secondary school buildings.

Mr. J. E. B. Hill

I accept, from the right hon. Lady that it is undesirable for new school buildings to be erected which are incompatible with comprehensive reorganisation, and it is news to me that any local education authorities were seeking to build in that way. I know only of my own county. Norfolk has given an undertaking that no new buildings will be incompatible with ultimate reorganisation. The right hon. Lady referred to a backlog and said that many local education authorities have been sitting on potential or permitted starts for up to 10 years. That has not been our experience in East Anglia. Here again I can speak only for Norfolk, but we have never failed to start everything we have been allocated in any year, and every year we have always asked for more. In fact, we have asked for some of the non-starts to be transferred so that we could get on with the job.

The essential point is one of priorities between what is specifically for implementing the comprehensive programme and what might otherwise go to the far end of the education system, the improvement of some of the slum schools for which admittedly a programme is in being, but by the very terms of the circular it can be seen that the potential demand far exceeds the resources available.

What we should like to know is what estimate the Department has made of that part of the total building programme given to us which, when shorn of the “roofs over head” element and the part for the raising of the school leaving age, is referable to secondary reorganisation itself. I agree that it is not possible to be exact about this. I think that, within a short time scale—perhaps the next five to seven years—that has to be set against the insufficiency of resources which are going to some at the lower end. Those of us in whose constituencies there are still very difficult primary conditions naturally would like to concentrate on the primaries in the shorter run.

I read about the new improvement programme for £15 million. It clearly said that it was mainly for areas of acute social need and the implication was that there [column 114]was not likely to be very much left over for what might be acute educational needs but which were not in areas that could be described as deprived areas. Yet in the primary sector there are some glaring cases of need. I feel bound to mention one about which I corresponded with the Secretary of State. I have in my own constituency the Diss Church School, which is half rebuilt at the moment, with a magnificent new part on an open plan system. Unfortunately, the second half has been postponed. That includes not only the accommodation for the remaining pupils but the building in which meals have to be prepared. This is an old Army hut which at one time formed part of prisoner of war facilities and is a grossly unsatisfactory place in which to prepare meals for anyone—even less so for children. The Minister knows that it is rat-infested. We cannot get rid of the rats. This has been going on for two or three years.

Miss Bacon

How long has the building been there like that?

Mr. Hill

It has been there for 30 years.

Mrs. Thatcher

The rats only came two years ago—the Labour rats!

Mr. Hill

The essential fact is that this school has been in the programme for a considerable number of years. It has languished for the last two years in the new design list. We should dearly like to make a start.

Mr. Short

Is this a primary school?

Mr. Hill

It is a primary school which, when rebuilt will be converted into a middle school, because we are working on a plan of middle schools and we regard the evolution of the comprehensive system as coming best from the bottom upwards. If we get our middle schools right, then they will be completely comprehensive up to the age of 12.

Mr. Short

There is no plan.

Mr. Hill

Until we can complete this school we are stuck. It is not possible or justifiable to spend money on the canteen by itself, because for technical reasons it cannot be done separately and we should like an immediate start.

The fact is—and the Minister has been very good in looking at it personally—that he cannot say “Yes” this morning. Clearly he is only able to say that it is under consideration with a great many other projects [column 115]from other local education authorities. We have to hope that in the third year of application we shall be lucky.

That one example illustrates the pressure at the other end of the building scale. It is not possible to do a great deal more than provide £15 million at present to clear up some of these appallingly bad schools. The school to which I referred is half built. Perhaps we could have done something temporary about it within the last five years had the mini-minor programme not been abolished, but at the moment it is not worth throwing good money away, if only we could start building within the next 12 months.

This criticism is valid of such matters as the educational priority area programme and the urban programme in so far as one has to say what in the short run is the right balance of priorities. I think that the Minister was a little unfair to Mr. Tyrrell Burgess, who said that inevitably part of the Government's priorities tended to perpetuate slum schools, for he admitted that there was a great deal of improvement in the basic programme. I should like to quote what he said:

“It must be said at once that much of this programme” —

that is the basic needs programme—

“carries in it the implication of improvement. Children who move out of city centres into new suburbs, and to the new schools provided there, have normally left behind a slum school in the centre. In terms of their experience there has been a very real improvement. Perhaps this can best be illustrated by the fact that over half of all children now in schools are in buildings put up since the war.

“On the other hand, the children who do not move out find themselves left behind in the centre in their old and often decaying schools, and it is to such schools that the ‘improvement’ element in the building programmes has been directed. It is also fair to say that the minor works programme contains a very real element of improvement, although it is impossible to put a figure to this.”
We say merely that as so much improvement is still needed, we would like to see the balance of the short term tilted that way a bit more.

As to the size of schools, some children need to go to a smaller school. Never was this more forcefully impressed on me than when I went to one of London's most eminent comprehensive schools, and the member of staff taking me round said, “I am happy here. I believe in this system. I like it very much, but remember that some [column 116]children cannot adjust themselves to the large community that a comprehensive must be. Please keep some small schools for these types of children” . They are not in any way handicapped or e.s.n. children; they are just children who need a small community in which to give of their best.

Mr. Newens

Surely the hon. Gentleman is not suggesting that children should be selected at the age of 11 to go to a large or small school? If there is not to be such a selection, presumably children will go to large schools who, according to the conditions which the hon. Gentleman is laying down, require small schools. It is much more important that children should be in small classes than that they should be in small schools. Surely we agree that it would be preferable for children to attend a large school with small classes than a small school with large classes.

12 noon

Mr. Hill

I cannot necessarily agree with all that the hon. Member has said, though I agree that large classes are clearly a great disadvantage. There is a psychological element in that some children are not happy away from home in a very large juvenile community, which is what it is. This fact has to be faced. Where we differ is that I believe that a good local education authority ought to try to fit its educational provision to the individual child and not merely to groups of children. If its administration is sufficiently sensitive and sophisticated, it should be able to find out what the needs of each child are.

Mr. Fred Evans

I speak as a practising headmaster. Will the hon. Gentleman kindly outline the mechanism by which he would select these children if there is no medical reason why they should go to special schools? Would he explain what size catchment area would be needed in the average local authority to make even a small school of such children?

Mr. Hill

In a satisfactory administration, enough should be known about the child's temperament while it is growing up from a primary teacher over a period of years. One would expect a long continuing assessment in a good administration. I agree that this may be difficult in areas where the movement and turnover of population and staff are excessive. This is yet another of the differences between [column 117]the turmoil of the city and the comparative stability of the countryside. A good primary teacher talking to a parent should be able to come to a conclusion about whether a child might be better off in a smaller community. This fact is, in my view, incontrovertible. What one does is one of the problems with which we are faced in a total comprehensive system. My standard has always been that it is not necessary to put 100 per cent. either of the age group or of the ability range into a comprehensive school for a comprehensive school to be a success.

On size of comprehensive schools in the rural areas, I am strengthened——

Mr. J. Idwal Jones

Before the hon. Member leaves this point, I suggest that the function of a comprehensive school is to adapt itself to the type of boy or girl to which the hon. Member has referred. Every headmaster knows he has different types of children. A comprehensive school is meant to cater for all types of children who are not medically subnormal.

Mr. Hill

But a comprehensive school cannot be like Alice in Wonderland—that is, by drinking from a magic bottle become smaller for one kind of child and then grow up and become bigger for another. I am merely trying to make the case that one can demonstrate the educational need of some children to pursue their education in small schools. If, unfortunately, all small schools are to be abolished, one will be disregarding and failing to fulfil that educational need which I would have supposed was, in the totality of educational need, the duty of the Department of Science and the local education authorities to fulfil under the 1944 Act.

I turn briefly to the size of comprehensive schools in rural areas. I should like the Minister to say that something less than a five-form entry could be accepted and that that means the total size of school might be less than 700.

Miss Bacon

Let me get this clear. I said that the usual number was six-form entry, only in exceptional cases, five-form entry, and in very exceptional cases, four-form entry.

Mr. Hill

If one has a middle school system with the middle school ending at 12, one saves a year on the secondary school age-range, and this simplifies a little the problem of size. In a rural area there [column 118]is the question of trying to be big enough and trying to avoid an excessive amount of travelling. Certain rural areas might get to that size, not in the shortest term, but in a rather longer term, allowing for population to build up.

Miss Bacon

I omitted to make the point in my speech that if one had a very small three- or four-form entry comprehensive school, and if the hon. Gentleman is now saying that that is very small—as we would agree—the position would be even worse under a separate system with two extremely small schools, a grammar school and a secondary modern school.

Mr. Hill

I do not necessarily agree with the right hon. Lady, for this reason. The comprehensive school would be trying to provide very nearly everything, whereas the small school might have a more specialist slant, to which we can come in later Amendments.

As to purpose-built comprehensive schools—and this is one reason why I would like to know how much money is being devoted to this side of the programme over the years—it is true that the Minister has said that some schools will exist in old buildings and others in new ones. The situation which I would like the hon. Lady to consider—and I do not pretend to know the answer to this—seems to have arisen quite recently at Swansea. I saw on television at the weekend an interesting programme on a new comprehensive school—I think that the Minister was opening it—which looked absolutely splendid and, I think, cost £1 million. Elsewhere in the city there was a second new comprehensive school which consisted of the amalgamation of existing schools, in grouped old buildings. I have not the slightest doubt that the quality of staff and teaching in the schools was equally good, but it seemed that there was a strong parental preference, at any rate as illustrated by the B.B.C., for children to go to the new school, much as tourists would want to go to a first class hotel rather than a second class hotel.

In that situation, although selection has been abolished, I was not sure that one might not be replacing discontent over the alleged failure to go to an academic course as opposed to a modern one with a new kind of discontent of parents and of children and, I suppose, conceivably of staff at working in old buildings in the same [column 119]neighbourhood where there were new buildings. If the old buildings are to remain, I would like to know what the Minister's policy is to meet that kind of discontent. If, on the other hand, the policy in the long term is to get rid of the old buildings and replace them with a further purpose-built comprehensive in Swansea and in similar situations elsewhere, what is the estimated cost of all that new capital work? It may be that it is on the lines of that calculation that the Daily Telegraph gave the estimate of £2,000 million.

Mr. van Straubenzee

It will be agreed, I think, that we have had a very useful discussion on this very important point, whatever view one takes of the matter.

I should like to say in passing how very pleasant it has been that we have had for the first time a contribution to our debates by the hon. Members for Caerphilly (Mr. Fred Evans) and Wrexham (Mr. J. Idwal Jones). I very much hope that their next interventions will be of greater length because we should like to hear more about their views on these matters.

I cannot be the only member of the Committee who found it difficult to follow with any clarity what the timetable from the buildings resources point of view is likely to be in the mind of the Secretary of State. At the first sitting of the Committee, I asked about the timetable aspect from the point of view of a mixed economy of comprehensives and selective schools, and the Secretary of State said:

“I agree that a mixed economy of comprehensives and some selective schools is acceptable for a very short time in the interim period of changing over, but only for a short interim period.” —[Official Report, Standing Committee A, 10th March, 1970; c. 40.]

This was clearly designed to give the impression to the faithful that the Bill is effective and will quickly come into force. It follows from that, one assumes, that the necessary resources will be made available.

It was understandable, therefore, that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Christopher Price), who is one of the Minister's more devoted disciples, should take him at his word and accordingly put down an Amendment to bring all this machinery into force by a date in 1975. The hon. Gentleman must have been distressed—certainly he looked distressed—when he learnt in only the next column of the Official Report that there were [column 120]two very substantial reasons why that was not possible. The second one is directly relevant to the Amendment. The Secretary of State said that if he acceded to his hon. Friend's request and brought the Bill into effect by 1st September, 1975, the cost would be “astronomical” . This is the political argument. The Bill is a useful adjunct to the weapons in the armoury of the Labour Party for the next election and it will be a very short space of time before it comes into effect. But when somebody tries to pin down a date, the cost, at any rate as related to 1975, would be “astronomical” . The process of going comprehensive will take a very long time indeed. The effect of the Bill is very marginal in terms of the timing of the matter.

Therefore, it is right we should probe very carefully whether additional resources are to be made available and what the Government's view on buildings is. I realise that it is possible to have two different views on the matter. It is, for example, possible to take the view of the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr. The hon. Gentleman, as in everything else, argued with great persuasion that the need to get rid of selection overrides all other considerations. I hope that that is a fair summary of his powerfully presented argument. I am sure that he will agree that persons who believe that we are moving, for educational reasons, away from the age of 12 as a fixed age of selection and who do not look with hostility on comprehensive schools, genuinely do not share his conviction.

My mind goes back to a fascinating series of articles on comprehensives in The Times in 1965. I recall the following passage in the ninth article by the special correspondent who wrote this substantial study in earlier days:

“Few of the comprehensive school teachers I met had a kind word to say for the Liverpool plan of collecting together a group of separated buildings and calling them a comprehensive school. They all thought a two-tier system would be better than this. Grouping of two schools together and calling them one has happened in parts of London—only the determination of teachers has enabled the school to overcome such odds.”

12.15 p.m.

I speak with some experience of this matter because I had the task of seeking to guide the discussions in making a viable comprehensive school out of three estab[column 121]lished schools in South London. Members of the staff, governors and managers of all political persuasions were united in agreeing that the task was well nigh impossible. Yet it was imposed on us by the Inner London Education Authority, in its former complex—that is, when it was controlled by Labour—and I learnt at first hand how important were the buildings and the positioning of the buildings if one was to create a meaningful school.

If I am asked for my priorities, I certainly rate the flesh and blood of the teaching force as the most important element. I accept that without question, as I accept the remarkable work and the excellent results that are often produced in absolutely appalling conditions by devoted members of staff. I therefore do not want anything I say to be regarded as detracting from that.

Let us consider the problems that we face when considering reorganisation schemes. The scheme I had to consider was to produce a viable comprehensive in three buildings in South London, each separated by one mile; which, in South London, is a long way. For this reason it is impossible to be dogmatic about these matters in all parts of the country. For example, in the part of the world which is so ably represented by my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. J. E. B. Hill), a mile is a tiddleywink distance. But in South London, with its traffic problems, the danger of moving children, the problem of communications—public transport, and so on—it is very great.

How, in this situation, can one meaningfully set about organising a comprehensive school? We sought advice, but we received little. Should it be done by age? In other words, should one divide the schools in age terms and have different ages in different buildings and thereby try to have the staff, rather than the children, moving? On the other hand, should it be done in terms of departments? Is it better to have departments moving, though that is not possible in many cases? For example, one cannot easily move wood-work and metal work classes. A teacher of French may be more capable of moving from class to class, but that is not necessarily the case when one considers [column 122]the modern techniques of laboratory teaching.

This is not just an academic or political exercise. In the case of which I have spoken, I was assured by the I.L.E.A. that I, or my successors, would have to organise the school for the next 20 years. That was the official Labour Party view in the I.L.E.A. at that time. It is small wonder that people who really believed in comprehensive education—I was associated with many of them and I shared their view to a great extent—felt that the imposition of a scheme such as the one that was imposed on us, without additional resources and buildings, made a mockery of the whole comprehensive principle. When hon. Gentlemen opposite impose this sort of thing on others, they do great harm to the comprehensive principle because they make a mockery of it.

Mercifully, that policy changed in London. There was a change of control in the I.L.E.A. and, as a result, the reorganisation programme need only be up to 1975. However, it seems from the Bill that the entire I.L.E.A. programme could be withdrawn by the Secretary of State for reconsideration, but we will come to that matter later.

I wish to illustrate the great practical thinking of the Conservative-controlled I.L.E.A., and to do this I quote from Paper No. 180 which was issued in 1968 on the organisation of secondary education. It illustrates the practical difficulties and the ordering of priorities. It said:

“The Authority's approach to the review of secondary organization in Inner London has been based on the following guiding principles:——

(i) Any change in organization should relate as far as possible to purpose-built or otherwise satisfactory accommodation”
In short, that is put at the top of the priority list.

“(ii) Any changes involving interim arrangements should be seen clearly to lead towards satisfactory ultimate arrangements”

Note the phrase “clearly to lead towards” rather than, in my case, 20 years.

“(iii) New proposals should relate to a realistic estimate of the size of future major school building programmes”

That is a potent sentence. How wise it was to take the proposals up to 1975 and [column 123]no further, resulting in a “mixed economy” . I understand that that was approved by the Secretary of State. That was wise of him because, whatever party is in power and whoever is controlling the economy, a mixed economy, at any rate in Inner London, will pertain for as long as any of us can foresee.

There are, of course, matters of expenditure to be considered, such as, in comprehensive schools, the provision for sixth-forms of common rooms and similar developments along those lines. There is also increasing provision for study rather than for strict class room learning at sixth-form and sometimes at fifth-form level. It is, therefore, misleading to suggest that this can be done overnight or that, in some way, it can be achieved without additional substantial resources.

That is why the Amendment is drawn in its present form. I am not wedded to its wording, and the Government always have superior advice in drafting matters. It is our duty to produce a form of words to get an argument on its feet. This argument is that in bringing about this change, the convenience and suitability of school accommodation should be our prime consideration. The comments of my hon. Friends have been particularly persuasive and although, as always, the Minister of State was helpful and made some comments in the wider context which we will wish to study, she did not show that the emphasis which we are seeking to place has been rebutted.

The right hon. Lady was most helpful when she revealed her mind on the question of the size which she thinks is appropriate for a meaningful comprehensive school. The school with which I was concerned was to be a five-form entry in Inner London. I would have thought that that [column 124]was absolutely on the margin for Inner London. I was interested to hear the right hon. Lady's comments on what she would regard as appropriate for a sixth-form entry in a built-up area, and we will wish to study her remarks.

We have shown conclusively that we shall live in a mixed economy for as long as we can foresee. It will be a moving programme and, during that time, both systems will be operating side by side. Cannot we, in the meantime, stop “knocking” the secondary schools and avoid using words like “failures?” It is no excuse to say, in effect, “I am merely repeating what people think” . In law one must not repeat a slander. The Secretary of State's words on Second Reading and subsequently have caused grave hurt to devoted people working in secondary schools and to a great number of pupils who are being educated in them and who do not see themselves as failures.

I want to create a climate of opinion where we improve the provision we make for this group of children. In the meantime, to bracket one great section of our young people as failures, particularly when it comes from the right hon. Gentleman, with all the authority of his office, is desperately disheartening. I urge him to stop “knocking” the secondary moderns.

This has been an important debate. Resources and buildings are central to the whole subject we are discussing. I regret that we have not appeared to have got that realisation into the minds of hon. Gentlemen opposite, and for this reason I must advise my hon. Friends to record our disagreement in the Division.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 10.

Division No. 5.]

Ayes

Boyle , Sir Edward

Eyre , Mr. Reginald

Hill , Mr. J. E. B.

Lane , Mr. David

Lewis , Mr. Kenneth

Montgomery , Mr.

Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

van Straubenzee , Mr.

Noes

Armstrong , Mr. Ernest

Bacon , Miss. Alice

Evans , Mr. Fred

Jones , Mr. J. Idwal

Newens , Mr. Stan

Oakes , Mr. Gordon

Price , Mr. Christopher

Price , Mr. William

Short , Mr. Edward

Woof , Mr. Robert [column 125-126]

Amendment No. 36 proposed: In page 1, line 20, at end insert:

(c) the provision of education in a school in respect of which grants are made by the Secretary of State under section 100(1)(b) of the Education Act 1944.—[Mr. J. E. B. Hill.]

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 10. Division No. 6.]

Ayes

Boyle , Sir Edward

Eyre , Mr. Reginald

Hill , Mr. J. E. B.

Lane , Mr. David

Lewis , Mr. Kenneth

Montgomery , Mr.

Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

van Straubenzee , Mr.

Noes

Armstrong , Mr. Ernest

Bacon , Miss Alice

Evans , Mr. Fred

Jones , Mr. J. Idwal

Newens , Mr. Stan

Oakes , Mr. Gordon

Price , Mr. Christopher

Price , Mr. William

Short , Mr. Edward

Woof , Mr. Robert

Amendment No. 37 proposed: In page 1, line 20, at end insert:

(c) the provision of education in a school in respect of which the Secretary of State makes payments of fees and expenses under section 100(1)(c) of the Education Act 1944.—[Mr. J. E. B. Hill.]

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 8, Noes 10.

Division No. 7.]

Ayes

Boyle , Sir Edward

Eyre , Mr. Reginald

Hill , Mr. J. E. B.

Lane , Mr. David

Lewis , Mr. Kenneth

Montgomery , Mr.

Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret

van Straubenzee , Mr.

Noes

Armstrong , Mr. Ernest

Bacon , Miss Alice

Evans , Mr. Fred

Jones , Mr. J. Idwal

Newens , Mr. Stan

Oakes , Mr. Gordon

Price , Mr. Christopher

Price , Mr. William

Short , Mr. Edward

Woof , Mr. Robert

12.30 p.m.

Mr. Newens

I beg to move Amendment No. 15, in page 1, to leave out line 20.

The Chairman

We previously proposed to discuss at the same time only Amendment No. 25, in page 2, line 9, leave out paragraph (a), standing in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) and the names of his hon. Friends, but it has been suggested to me by an hon. Member that we could also discuss Amendment No. 23, in page 2, line 1, leave out subsection (3), and Amendment No. 22, in page 2, line 1, leave out subsections (3) and (4), which I had not intended to select, all three standing in the name of the hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Newens), and also Amendment No. 27, page 2, line 13, leave out from “age” to end of line 16, standing in the name of the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Maude). I trust that this will be convenient to the Committee.

Mr. Newens

I am grateful to you, Mr. Brewis, for permitting Amendment No. 22 to be discussed, since Amendment No. 15 deals with the question of sixth form colleges and if it were eventually carried it would be reasonable also to carry No. 22.

My purpose may be different from that of the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell)——

Mrs. Thatcher

Ronald BellHe is not on the Committee.

Mr. Newens

—whose name is attached to several Amendments, and of the hon. Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane). The object of Amendment No. 15 is to remove from the Bill the exemption for sixth form colleges. I support the provision for ending selection in secondary schools at the age of 11. The arguments were put on Second Reading and similar arguments [column 127]apply with equal force to the exemption of sixth form colleges in the Bill.

Most advocates of comprehensive education regard the 11 to 18 range as ideal. Generally speaking, this is the view of the N.U.T. But I do not think we should be rigid on this matter. I think that probably all of us here hope to encourage experimentation and it might well be that we should find it more convenient in future for the natural break in education to occur at 16 and that the idea of sixth form colleges, perhaps associated with other colleges, will be regarded as much more sensible.

If, however, we retain exemption of sixth form colleges from these provisions, a child who goes to a comprehensive school for 16 to 18 year olds will not have to pass a selection test at 16, whereas a child who goes to a school where a different arrangement prevails may well find that in order to go on to what we now describe as sixth form education, he will have to pass some sort of test. This will create an anomalous state of affairs. If a family moves from one part of the country to another, the child may well find that, whereas in the part from which he came, no selection test was applied at 16, such a test applies in the area to which he has moved. Exemption for sixth form colleges therefore creates an anomaly that we should eradicate.

I understand that there are only two selective sixth form colleges. The fact that they are so few in number strengthens the argument. If there are only two, surely it is unnecessary to include a provision for exempting them. In future, the existence of such an exemption might play a considerable part in influencing local authorities in their attitude towards what is regarded as an ideal scheme for their area. The exemption could, therefore, have a damaging effect.

If the exemption were allowed to remain in the Bill, it would permit the head of a sixth form college to lay down criteria for the admission of pupils. He might well lay down that a minimum number of examination passes are necessary at 16 before admission. He would, therefore, exclude a certain number of pupils and this might well work to the particular disadvantage of non-academic children. We should see that, in future, pupils who are not academic should have exactly the same oppor[column 128]tunity of taking educational courses available to them at 16, if they stay on at school, as the more academic students. If we allow sixth form colleges to develop on a selective basis, they might become in certain areas university entrance forcing houses. I do not say that that is the intention at present, but one can conceive a state of affairs in which particular sixth form colleges will seek to get as many people as possible into university and there would be considerable demand to go to such colleges. In the result, they would impose rigid terms for selection and would thus become what some primary schools became under the influence of the 11-plus—forcing houses for entry into the next stage of education.

I believe that education for the 16 to 18-year-olds should be wide-ranging, general and not narrowly academic. It is, therefore, very important that we should exclude the exemption from this Bill. I fail to see any vital argument for excluding sixth form colleges from the general terms of the Bill, and I hope that my right hon. Friend will accept the Amendment.

Sir E. Boyle

I am not unsympathetic to the case put by the hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Newens), although I do not reach quite the same conclusion. He said that quite a number of teacher associations and educationists look at the 11 to 18 all-through comprehensive as the ideal. It is worth remembering, in accordance with the interesting statistics that the right hon. Lady gave, that that is clearly not the view of local education authorities. I think that counsel is very often darkened by the fact that so many people still think that the choice is between grammar schools and modern schools as we have known them and all-through comprehensives 11 to 18. It is important to remind the public of the large number of reorganisation schemes either involving middle schools or the Leicestershire type of plan—and I am interested to hear that 20 authorities are going for a break at 14, which is a better possibility than some people had thought—and, lastly, the sixth form college idea.

I have always thought that this was one of the possibilities, and it bothers me that people tend to go to such extremes when talking about sixth form colleges. Either they are wildly for such colleges and regard them as the only viable future for a [column 129]number of grammar schools, or they tend to be intemperately against them. I believe that there are a number of areas where this pattern of reorganisation is to be introduced. There are arguments for it, and one of the best statements of the argument for sixth form colleges was in a document published by an organisation called P.E.S.T., with which my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Mr. Lane) and I have some connection. The document was published early in 1966.

Clearly, the sixth form college solves the problem of the future of the grammar school, particularly the smaller grammar school with a good sixth form. I cannot help feeling that this is a particularly attractive form of reorganisation in the smaller type of borough, perhaps consisting of one or two constituencies, where one or two grammar schools tower above the rest in the town esteem. This has the additional advantage that one of the most notable features of the grammar school since the 1950s has been the sixth form and this is a way of preserving the grammar school sixth form. I believe that we shall see a strengthening of sixth form education if we are to solve the problem of university places and stick to the three-year university course.

12.45 p.m.

There are two other arguments which should not be underrated. Even if one believes broadly in comprehensive education up to C.S.E. and O level, one has to accept streaming after O level. Clearly, after O level, scholars start to go their separate ways, some for a purely academic course to university entry, others to a semi-academic course and others to something much less.

There is a great deal in the arguments that Dr. Wearing King of Croydon and Lionel Elvin have put forward that at the age of 16 one gains from a different style of education. It is no good people mouthing platitudes and objurgations against the permissive society. The fact remains that older teenagers are very much transformed from what they were a generation back and there is a good deal to be said for a change in the style of schooling in the latter years of adolescence. For these reasons, we cannot rule out the sixth form college for the future. I believe a growing body of educational opinion considers that this type of education has a part to play. [column 130]

Coming to the proposals in the Bill and the Amendments, there is no compulsion on any local authority to adopt a selective sixth form. No one will be compelled by the Bill to adopt selective methods of entry to the sixth form college. Indeed, I have sometimes found myself protesting against some of the remarks made about semi-academic pupils entering a grammar school at the sixth form stage. In the Borough of Southampton, which is going ahead with a scheme of secondary schools and secondary colleges, I was a little rough with the minority of thinking which was inclined to say that the wrong kind of pupils were going into the grammar school and spoiling it for the rest. I regret that approach. There is a case for enabling local authorities to have regard, in selection, to ability and aptitude when one gets to that stage of education. One reason is that I believe that increasingly we want to look at the 15 to 18 age group as a whole.

In considering who is best off in a sixth form college and who is best off in a technical college, one must accept that different pupils get on better in one environment or the other. To me it has always been rather extreme to take the view that an authority should not be able to consider ability or aptitude when deciding which pupil goes to which type of institution. Unlike the hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Newens), I take the view that when people get past the age of 15 or 16 they go their different ways in education. Different types of pupil require a different course. While I have no doubt that we want to see reasonably wide entry to the sixth form college, if we are to make a rational job of planning the 15 to 18 stage in education, it is extreme to say that authorities, even at this stage, should not be allowed to refer to ability and aptitude. For that reason, I would not support the Amendment.

I am very glad that the right hon. Gentleman has at least envisaged in the Bill the possibility of some bright pupils under the age of 16 getting to a sixth form college. I have no doubt that there are some pupils who could clear the O level hurdle easily in four years and who should be given the chance to do so. Therefore, I hope that, on the question of age transfer from secondary school to secondary college, the right hon. Gentleman will give local authorities reasonable latitude in their day to day administration.

[column 131]

Mr. Evans

We are all familiar with the significant role of sixth forms in grammar schools in the development of the open sixth form. All who have experience of grammar schools can recall the very rigid academic entry bars to the sixth forms of not so many years ago. In the highly selective grammar school of which I had the privilege to be headmaster, the entry bar was a minimum of five O levels. In recent years, through a flexible arrangement with secondary modern schools, it has been found possible to take straight into the sixth form boys from secondary modern schools who simply had two or three G.S.E. qualifications. By dovetailing the translation of C.S.E.s into additional O levels at the same time as doing a limited number of A levels, the stimulus of the sixth form brought them to the stage where they not only sat A levels but obtained them in very good grades. Much more significantly, they found little difficulty in adapting themselves to a sixth form.

I am speaking now of a school of 630 boys which regularly had a sixth form of 150 and sent 50 boys either on degree or degree-equivalent courses. It was significant to see the type of boy who came from a secondary modern school who, under the stimulus of this kind of sixth form, would respond and get not only his A levels but high grades. The more this open sixth form is developed and the lower the academic bar, the better will be the sixth form because there is little danger that the high fliers in the sixth form will suffer.

There is the obvious chance that the less academic-minded will respond to this kind of stimulus, and if we are to accept the philosophy of an open sixth form we should at least give consideration to carrying it to its logical conclusion. I recognise the great fear of the hon. Member for Epping that if we are to have sixth form college organisation we may see this kind of academic bar introduced and the growth of what he called “a forcing house” for university entrants. I know of at least one authority where the sixth form college will not be so called. I trust that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received, or will shortly receive, plans along these lines under which a so-called junior college is envisaged.

I am sure that that authority is not alone in considering that this kind of organisation is required. I am sure that there are [column 132]other authorities which have set up colleges of further education in areas where there happen to be numbers of grammar schools. This particular authority is in Wales. In our dedication to the philosophy of educating all our children and seeing that the ablest of them benefit to the absolute maximum from what we offer, we have possibly over built grammar schools in the past.

Under the arrangements of which I speak, we can have the junior college which is a college without bar. The academic-minded will go there and so will all who want to continue their education. I challenge anyone who has had charge of sixth forms to say that without passing a single A level in the sixth form, and without catching up with a single O level he missed earlier, anyone goes to a good sixth form without benefiting substantially in terms of maturity, poise and being a social person.

We envisage a junior college to which day release apprentices, the academic-minded, and those who want to seek professional qualifications other than to a university would go, where we would have this tremendous range of ability, and where the staffing and equipment would match the demand of this great range of abilities. I believe this can be done. This should be the kind of concept of the sixth form college or, to change its name, the junior college for young adults—which is what these people are.

I come to the materialistic point which has so concerned hon. Members opposite today, the question of buildings. Where this kind of pattern exists, it is comparatively easy, without great expenditure, to turn a college of further education into a junior college. With the release of numbers of pupils in the sixth form of grammar schools who would attend the junior college, there is the possibility of not too great expenditure on existing grammar schools already provided with very good ranges of equipment, and so on. Looking at the sixth form, that would, in turn, ease the pressure on the grammar school side. If we are to have a two-tier system of comprehensive education, it would ease the second tier in relation to pressure on space.

The Bill does not mention selectivity, but hon. Members opposite, in the first two sittings of the Committee, referred constantly to the element of selectivity in the Bill. They were referring to the sixth [column 133]form college. I can only assume that whatever their authorities they will be supporting the element of selectivity in sixth form colleges. That is not mentioned in the Bill and therefore I shall not support the Amendment. But I would like to hear some reasons for the concept of this kind of junior college vis-a-vis the so-called sixth form college.

My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Christopher Price) stated what this debate is all about. It is about selection and delaying tactics to preserve the system of selection. There was great play at our last sitting on direct grant schools. I could have told the Committee the impact of a highly selective school in an area because I managed one. As a very primary grammar school, all we succeeded in doing was decapitating the sixth form of all the grammar schools around us. It was very nice for us and provided fine academic results. But now that the pattern is altered, I have not noticed that people who would come to us previously have done any worse in the smaller grammar schools where they were getting just as good teaching and where academic ability will fulfil itself. [column 134]

Today there has been reference to buildings. I liked the sudden concern for tilting the balance in favour of primary schools as another element to try to delay the introduction of a non-selective system.

Mr. Lane

We on this side have been stressing this for years and urging the Government not to put too much into the secondary sector at the expense of the primary sector. There is nothing sudden about it.

Mr. Evans

I did not suggest that there was anything sudden about it, but in many years of teaching I can remember times when the urge was not so great. My mind goes back to the time of Florence Horsbrugh. I well remember the hatcheting and the attacks on nursery schools. I have been headmaster of a primary school, and I did not notice during very many years of Tory rule the anxieties——

It being One o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order.

Committee adjourned till Thursday, 19th March, 1970, at half-past Ten o'clock. [column 135-136]

The following Members attended the Committee:

Brewis , Mr. (Chairman)

Armstrong , Mr.

Bacon , Miss

Boyle , Sir E.

Evans , Mr. Fred

Eyre , Mr.

Hill , Mr. J. E. B.

Jones , Mr. J. Idwal

Lane , Mr.

Lewis , Mr. Kenneth

Mahon , Mr. Simon

Montgomery , Mr.

Newens , Mr.

Oakes , Mr.

Price , Mr. Christopher

Price , Mr. William

Short , Mr. Edward

Thatcher, Mrs.

van Straubenzee , Mr.

Woof , Mr.