Page 7, 12th December 1958

12th December 1958
Page 7
Page 7, 12th December 1958 — School plan to

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People: Beck
Locations: Salford


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existing schools; (c) to enable allage schools to be reorganised; and to meet the wishes of parents for denominational instruction, unless the building of a voluntary school can he justified as meeting the needs of new housing development or the increased school population.

" Catholic authorities have long protested against the effect of Circular 245. Some relief was given in December 1954 by Circular 283 when reorganisation of all-age schools was permitted in rural areas.

Little help

"This was of little help to Catholic schools which are mainly, of course, in urban areas. In the big towns we arc, in fact, far behind the local education authorities in our reorganisation programmes.

" In the diocese of Salford, for example, we have only nine new secondary modern schools, providing for about 4,000 children, whereas we have almost one hundred all-age schools with a population of about 40,000 children, of whom about 20,000 are over 11 years of age and should be in secondary schools. "The Government recognise," Bishop Beck added, " that the cost of reorganisation will be heavy, and that it will be necessary for the Churches, as well as local education authorities, to make every effort in their power.

"This, of course, the Catholic authorities are only too anxious to do, but they need considerable financial help from the Government to take their full part in the five-year plan."

THE call for Government assist

ance to the extent of 75 per cent on all building and reconstruction schemes, made first by Bishop Beck himself. becomes more urgent now.

"The White Paper", Mgr. E. Mahony. Secretary of the Southwark Diocesan Schools' Commission, tells me, " may well usher in the largest Catholic school building programme the country has ever seen.

" There can be little doubt that whatever the assistance the Government provides there will still be a vast sum to be found by the Catholic community. It could well he that owing to lack of resources we shall not be able to exploit this present opportunity to the full".

The Minister says in the White Paper that there are 150.000 children of 11 years of age and over still attending the all-age schools which hc proposes should be re-organised.

" The last official figure available for Catholic all-age schools. i.e.. January 1, 1957, gave 672 schools with a total population of 176.819 as at that date, of whom 25 per cent were estimated to be 11 years old and over.

More money

"Since then many of these schools have been re-organised, but it is believed that the percenaage of Catholic children to be found among the 150.000 mentioned in the White Paper is considerably higher than the average percentage for the total Catholic population, which is about 11 per cent."

lust as willing as any others to play their part in the great £400 million five-year plan are Catholic candidates for the teaching profession. Our twc\ training schools for men, and our ten institutions for women, are full to capacity.

There are plans for the extension of the existing buildings, but there is need for more training centres, particularly as the entry figure of smaller childcn into the Catholic pimary schools is on the increase.

All this means money. The Bishops will press for that flat grant of 75 per cent when they come to discuss finance with the Government. But the five-year plan is so vast that considerably more money will still need to be found by Catholics themselves.

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