§ MR. SUTHERLAND (Elgin Burghs)
I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland if he will say what was the object of changing the date of leaving-certificate examinations from June to April; and whether that change was made with the approval of local education authorities and of teachers.
§ THE SECRETARY FOR SCOTLAND (Mr. SINCLAIR, Forfarshire)
The object of the change of date of the written examination was to give full opportunity for collating the evidence of the written papers with the estimate of the pupils' attainments as arrived at by the teachers, and for such oral examination as may prove necessary when the two kinds of testimony are in conflict. Incidentally the change will admit of the results being communicated to the schools at a reasonably early date in spite of the much longer time which they now take to prepare. The change of date was announced by circular to the schools on the 15th May last, and from such expressions of opinion as have reached the Department since that date they have no reason to suppose that the change does not meet with the approval of the great majority of the managers and teachers concerned.