§ 19. Mr. Silvester
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the estimated number of new secondary school places to be provided under his three-year programme of extra building preparatory to raising the school leaving age; and what is the increase in the number of secondary school pupils expected in the autumn of 1973.
§ 21. Mr. Evelyn King
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what figure he has set aside for building projects required for the raising of the school leaving age in 1972; and over what programme years it will be spent.
§ Mr. Edward Short
The value of the special building programme is £105 million spread over the three years 1970–73. The programme has been calculated in the expectation that some 287,000 additional pupils will be in 1651 school in September, 1973, as a result of raising the leaving age. I estimate that about 30,000 of these can be accommodated in existing schools without further building. In addition to the £105 million, £20 million has been added to the ordinary building programme to take account of the increase in voluntary staying on at school expected between now and 1973.
§ Mr. Silvester
Does the Secretary of State think that the figures that he has just quoted will provide adequate accommodation, particularly in the North, where the disproportion of those staying on to what would be expected after the raising of the school-leaving age is particularly high?
§ Mr. Short
Yes, I think so. If the hon. Gentleman does some arithmetic afterwards, he will find that I have allowed about £400 an additional place, which is a very generous allowance. I agree with him about the position in the North. I am doing my best to persuade parents there to allow children to stay on over the statutory age. I hope that all hon. Members on both sides will do the same.