DES Circular 10/66 (1966)

In this circular, the government set out its proposals for school building programmes up to 1970.

See also Circular 10/65 The organisation of secondary education

The text of DES Circular 10/66 was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 1 July 2016.

Circular 10/66 (1966)
School building programmes

Department of Education and Science
London: 1966
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.

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To Local Education Authorities

Circular 10/66
(10th March 1966)


All communications should be addressed to the PERMANENT UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE


Major and Minor Programmes 1967/68 - 1969/70

1. The Government have settled the total size of the annual building programmes for primary and secondary schools (including special schools), in terms of the level of authorised starts, for 1967/68 to 1969/70. The Secretary of State announced the figures in reply to a Question in the House of Commons on March 4th in the following terms:

"I intend to authorise annual major programmes for schools (including special schools) and minor works programmes as follows:

2. The total size of programmes is very large. It is the Secretary of State's earnest wish that these should be regarded as realistic and capable of achievement. He therefore hopes that local education authorities will tackle their own programmes with vigour and enthusiasm and will make a determined effort to start projects on the ground in the programme year and to ensure their rapid completion. A paper programme achieves nothing and to carry out real programmes of the size now authorised will call for the greatest efficiency in all matters connected with the preparation and execution of building projects.

3. The period covered by the next round of programmes will be dominated by the need to build new school places to keep pace with the rising population and to match the Government's plans for a larger housing programme. Nevertheless the total size of the programmes announced allows a margin over and above what would be

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needed to provide the minimum of new places to cater for the rising and shifting population. This means that as well as meeting the overriding objective of ensuring a place for every child, there will be scope for replacing and improving unsatisfactory old school premises, though less scope than would be desirable and practicable if the pressure of basic needs were not so great.

Primary and Secondary Schools other than Special Schools 1967/68

4. Priority must be given to projects required to meet the needs of children who would otherwise have no school to go to. After this, improvement projects may be submitted and will be considered within the limits of resources available. In this category the Secretary of state will give first place to proposals which are designed to improve or replace the worst primary schools.

Reorganisation of secondary education on comprehensive lines

5. It is explained in paragraph 23 of Circular 10/65 that: "The disposition, character and size of existing schools, particularly of the schools built since the war which must be assumed to remain in use for a considerable time, must influence and in many cases go far to determine the shape of secondary organisation." While the nature of the stock of existing schools and of the building proposals already included in approved programmes had to be taken as an inescapable determinant both of the rate at which a changeover to a comprehensive pattern could be achieved and of the form which the pattern must take it would clearly be inconsistent with the Government's long term objective if future school building programmes were to include new projects exclusively fitted for a separatist system of secondary education. Accordingly the Secretary of State will not approve any new secondary projects (i.e. any projects not already included in an approved programme) which would be incompatible with the introduction of a non-selective system of secondary education. In cases where the Department does not yet have the necessary information about reorganisation schemes, authorities are asked to describe for each secondary proposal how it will, or could, fit into a comprehensive pattern.

Raising the school leaving age

6. Within the total figures for major and minor building programmes given in paragraph 1 an allocation of about 33m. is contained in each of the years 1968/69 and 1969/70 to cover projects which are required for the extra numbers on school rolls resulting from the higher leaving age. It is the Government's intention to allocate a similar figure in the programme for 1970/71 with a small final

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instalment in 1971/72 bringing the total allocation to something over 100m. While projects specifically for raising the age will not therefore be programmed until 1968/69, all secondary projects submitted for the second part of 1967/68 should be based on a leaving age of 16. A further circular will shortly be sent to authorities inviting bids for 1968/69 and outlining the procedures to be adopted for projects required specifically for raising the age.

Submission of proposals for 1967/68

7. Authorities are now invited to submit proposals for the remainder of the 1967/68 programme. For ordinary schools, projects must be listed in order of priority and those justified on grounds of basic needs should be shown separately from any others. Full supporting information must be supplied for every proposal. The form which this should take is set out in Appendix 16 of the Building Code. In resubmitting proposals previously put forward for the 1967/68 or earlier programmes, authorities are asked to ensure that the details given are up to date. Projects should be costed on the basis of the Building Code where appropriate, but Architects and Building Branch should be consulted and will be prepared to advise on the costing of types of school which are not dealt with in the Code. Proposals should be submitted as soon as possible and not later than 30th April. Four copies of letters dealing with ordinary schools should be sent to Schools Branch.

8. After examining the proposals submitted by authorities, the Secretary of State will notify them as soon as possible of the projects which he is prepared to include immediately in the approved programme for 1967/68. A small reserve will, however, be kept in hand which will enable some additional projects from among those submitted to be allocated to authorities which have been particularly successful in starting projects programmed for earlier years and have a good case for some addition to their current programme.

Special Schools for handicapped pupils: school clinics

9. Proposals are invited for special schools and school clinics for the remainder of the 1967/68 programme and for the complete programmes 1968/69 and 1969/70. Projects should be listed in a single order of priority unless there are special reasons for suggesting the inclusion of a project in a particular year's programme. Priority will continue to be given to the need for additional day and boarding school places for educationally subnormal and maladjusted children, and to allow for increases in

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places for other handicaps reflecting the general increase in the school population; but these priorities will not exclude consideration of improvement projects. Every proposal should be supported by full relevant information. The required details are set out in Appendix 17 of the Building Code. Proposals should be submitted as soon as possible and not later than 16th May. Four copies should be sent to Special Services Branch.

(Herbert Andrew)