HC Deb 07 March 1929 vol 226 cc543-5
17. Commander SOUTHBY

asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to the action of the Glamorgan Education Committee in placing a ban on any of their students becoming trainees for the Royal Air Force or any other arm of the fighting services; and, if so, whether he can take steps to preserve for the students the liberty to choose their own careers?


I understand that on 26th February the Glamorgan Education Committee passed a resolution that they will not in future nominate youths for apprenticeship in connection with any branch of the fighting Forces. The effect of this resolution appears to be that, though scholars in the secondary schools and evening classes of the Glamorganshire Education Authority will still be able to enter for the examination for the Air Force conducted by the Civil Service Commissioners, they will no longer have the opportunity of taking the examination in the schools, and will consequently usually have to find money for travelling expenses and examination fees. I do not think that the Committee perhaps realised that the effect of their resolution was to place children of poor parents attending public secondary schools at a disadvantage as compared with the children of better-to-do parents attending private schools, and to withdraw from poor scholars an exceptionally good educational opportunity for a thorough apprenticeship training for skilled trades. Last year the Glamorganshire authority nominated 61 candates for aircraft apprentices, of whom 45 passed.

Commander SOUTHBY

Can the Noble Lord tell us whether the education authority have any right to enforce this ban?


If my hon. and gallant Friend will read the answer he will see that it is not a ban, but that it is a question of not giving certain facilities for examinations in their schools. They have a right to take that action, though, as I say, I think their decision was probably a mistake.


Has the Noble Lord no power to intervene in a case like this where an education authority imposes disabilities on one secton of its pupils?

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the Noble Lord aware that certain education authorities are putting great pressure on students to join the Officers' Training Corps? [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] Will he pay attention to that matter also?


That question does not arise out of the question on the Paper.