HC Deb 12 February 1931 vol 248 cc576-7

asked the President of the Board of Education the number of fee-paying students of the Royal College of Art in each of the seven college years up to and including that ended in July, 1930; what tests are made to ensure the fitness of the entering students; and, seeing that these tests are not sufficient to exclude all immature candidates and that few diplomas of associateship of the Royal College of Art and Board of Education art-teaching certificates, respectively, have been obtained in each of the seven years referred to, whether he will revise the conditions of the tests?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Sir Charles Trevelyan)

As the answer to this question includes a number of figures I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

The numbers of full-time students, both fee-paying and free, at the Royal College of Art have increased rapidly in recent years. The numbers of fee-paying students in each of the last seven years were:

Session. Full-time Fee-payers.
1923–24 76
1924–25 110
1925–26 143
1926–27 140
1927–28 140
1928–29 158
1929–30 172

The tests which candidates for admission to a diploma course at the college are required to pass, unless they have already passed an equivalent test in the Board's art examinations, are set out in Section 17 of the Prospectus of the Royal College of Art, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy, and are carefully carried out.

While any test is liable to error in individual cases, I cannot accept the assumption in the last part of the question that these tests are unsuitable, and that few diplomas of associateship of the Royal College of Art have been obtained in recent years. On the contrary, with the growth of numbers there has been a corresponding increase in the number of diplomas awarded, and a proper proportion of the total number continues to be obtained by students admitted as fee-payers.

The Board's Teaching Certificate for Teachers in Art Schools is not taken by students of the Royal College, because, if they intend to take up teaching, they can obtain their qualification by taking the Diploma of Associateship and the post-diploma course at the college.