§ 12. Mr. R. RICHARDSON
asked the President of the Board of Education whether he has considered the resolution passed at the annual meeting of the Association of Education Committees urging that legislation should be passed providing that, within a period not exceeding six years from the present year, it shall be legally obligatory for children to attend school up to the age of 15; and whether, in view of the statement in his letter of January last to the chairman of the consultative committee to the effect that his reason for not carrying out the recommendation of the consultative committee as to the raising of the school age was that, by so doing, he would disturb the plans of local education authorities, he is now prepared to introduce legislation providing that the age of compulsory school attendance shall be raised to 15 at the date recommended by the annual meeting of the Association of Education Committees?
§ Lord E. PERCY
I have seen a report of the resolution in the Press, but the Association has not communicated with me on the subject. The hon. Member appears to have forgotten that last January I invited local authorities again, as I had already done two years ago in Circular 1358, to formulate their views on the question of the school leaving age, and that in March I asked them to undertake comprehensive surveys of the ultimate requirements of their areas in respect of post-primary education. I hope this resolution indicates an intention on the part of authorities to undertake such surveys, which few of them have yet done. Meanwhile, authorities are aware that I am prepared to consider 1159 proposals for raising the statutory age of school attendance to 15, and I have recently approved proposals submitted to me by the authorities for Cornwall and Plymouth.