§ Mr. Rowlands
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list the dates of the visits by the office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools to Bedlinog Junior, Bedlinog Infants and Graig Bedlinog Infants schools to advise on the exercise of his powers under sections 35(1) and 167(1) of the Education Act 1996; 
(2) if he will list the dates upon which his professional advisers on school building visited Bedlinog Infants, Bedlinog Junior and Graig Bedlinog Infants schools in consideration of the exercise of his powers under sections 35(1) and 167(1) of the Education Act 1996. 
Bedlinog schools —class sizes and pupil-teacher ratios —September 1998 Class sizes School Class Number of pupils Number of teachers Pupil-Teacher ratio Bedlinog Infants N/R 18 R/Y1/Y2 22 Total 40 12 20:1 Graig Bedlinog Infant N/R/Y1 23 Yl/Y2 21 Total 44 12.1 20.95:1 Bedlinog Junior Yrs 3–6 25 26 25 Total 76 23.8 20:1 1Including Head teacher 2Head teacher teaches for 80 per cent. of his time.
§ Mr. Hain
Since Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council's proposal to amalgamate the three Bedlinog schools on the site of the existing junior school attracted statutory objections, in accordance with sections 37 and 169 of the Education Act 1996, it fell to the Secretary of State to determine.
In considering the proposal the Secretary of State sought the views of the Office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in Wales (OHMCI) and the Department's professional advisers on school building matters —Burgess Partnership.
Bedlinog Junior, Bedlinog Infants and Graig Bedlinog Infants schools were inspected by independent inspectors under contract to OHMCI on 10–12 June 1996, 23–25 September 1996, and 4–6 March 1996 respectively. Given the generally satisfactory standards of achievement in the three schools, visits by HMI were not deemed necessary following the inspections. OHMCI provided the Department with advice on the educational merits of the LEA's proposal having considered the LEA's statement of case and all the objections.
The Burgess Partnership did not visit the schools but assessed the LEA's technical report on the condition of the junior school building and the authority's response to objections relating to this particular issue. Their assessment was reported to the Secretary of State for his consideration along with all other evidence.
§ Mr. Rowlands
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what estimate he has made of each of the current class sizes in(a) Bedlinog Junior, (b) Bedlinog Infants and (c) Graig Bedlinog Infants schools, Merthyr Tydfil; and what estimate he has made of each of these class sizes following the proposed reorganisation of the schools; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the teacher/pupil ratios at (a) Bedlinog Junior, (b) Bedlinog Infants and (c) Graig Bedlinog Infants schools; and what estimate he has made of the pupil/teacher ratio after the proposed reorganisation of the schools. 
§ Mr. Hain
The following table provides details of class sizes and pupil-teacher ratios at each of the three schools at September 1998.
The determination of class sizes and pupil-teacher ratios following the reorganisation of the schools will be matters for the head teacher and governing body. The school is expected to have around 162 pupils and 6 teachers.