The Education Authority in Bristol is facing a challenge. That's how the Chairman of the?
The Education Authority in Bristol is facing a challenge. That's how the Chairman of the City Education Committee put it today when he talked about the education of immigrant children. A lot of people think that this is mainly a problem of colour - and this is quite wrong. There are in Bristol nineteen hundred immigrant school children and of these six hundred are white - [illegible] Hungarian, Poles, Cyriots and others. No - the real problem lies more in the future and the educations people see it as one of accommodation. A Census recently taken in one district of Bristol showed that there were sixty-one immigrant children age ten - that there were twice as many aged five - more than three times as many one, two and three year olds and getting on for four times as many babies under a year old. At the moment there is no shortage of primary school places - but if nothing were done about this build up of immigrant children over the next few years the city would find itself short of more than seven hundred school places by 1971. The Chief Education Officer for Bristol - MR. HAROLD SYLVESTER - said at today's meeting of the Education Committee that the city didn't have the problems of London, Birmingham and Bradford but the facts are serious. And things had to be sorted out before the "crunch" came. One of the ways they're going to tackle it is by having more teachers. The problem of extra accommodation they hope can be solved by turning a secondary school - Baptist Hills School - into a primary. This is in a district which has a large number of immigrant families. The change to primary would create enough places for the immigrant children who'll soon be reaching school age.
All of this problem is created because these new families tend to want to live together - an Education Committee can only go so far - many people feel that the real solution lies with the Housing Authority.