45. Mr. Vyvyan Adams
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education what steps he proposes to take since, under the Clause in the Education Act, 1936, empowering local education authorities to issue employment certificates for beneficial employment, it is within the competence of a local education authority to decline to recognise any employment as beneficial, and so to raise without exception the school-leaving age to 15?
My Noble Friend does not agree with the suggestion that it will be within the competence of a local education authority, under the Education Act, 1936, 3290 to decline to recognise any employment as beneficial for children of 14. I would refer in this connection to the answer which I gave to the hon. Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. White) on 2nd May last.
Does my hon. Friend recall a statement in which he said that the decision whether a particular employment was beneficial or not in a particular case was a matter for the local education authority and that their determination was conclusive; and might not a local authority use such a statement to defeat the intentions of Parliament?
That was a careful statement. What I said was that a particular employment might be regarded as beneficial for a particular child after considering all the circumstances of the individual case. We stand by that.
§ Mr. Macquisten
Is not the matter within the discretion of the local authorities, and, therefore, also within their indiscretion?