ARCHBISHOP BECK of Liverpool, Chairman of the Catholic Education Council, said this week that Catholics could "reasonably hope" for an extension of state aid for new school buildings of all
But, said the Archbishop, the cost to the Catholic community is likely to be "very heavy". Speaking at the Catholic Teachers' Federation Secondary Schools Conference in London on Wednesday, Archbishop Beck posed the query as to whether we can keep pace with the growing demand for school places by the Catholic population. Already, he said, "there are parts of the country in which a considerable proportion of Catholic children do not get into Catholic schools". This situation may become even more difficult if there arc to be massive moves of population, particularly towards the S.E. of England, and in places where land prices are high and sites not easily come by.
The Archbishop also raised the question of what he termed "the growing tendency to question the general value of separate Catholic educational system". There arc some. he said, "who suggest that this is not only unnecessary but is also undesirable. The vast outlay by the Catholic community in finance and organisation is not, it is suggested, producing adequate results.
Challenge "This is a challenge to all who are concerned with Catholic education, and I make no apology for defending the ideals for which bishops, priests and laity have made such tremendous sacrifices in the past. I still think that we have a right to expect that the Catholic child from a Catholic home should be able to go to a Catholic school and to be taught by Catholic teachers."
A second problem raised by the Archbishop was that of the whole structure of Catholic secondary education. Moves towards the comprehensive pattern of education and the problems which could be created for the Catholic community are ones, he hoped, which would be considered by the Secondary Schools Conference which he was addressing.