HC Deb 09 November 1939 vol 353 cc406-7
43. Mr. Dunn

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, why the Government have decided that schoolchildren may now leave school on attaining their fourteenth birthday without waiting for the end of the school term?

Mr. Lindsay

The Government have given no such decision. Under Section 138 (1) of the Education Act, 1921, a child attending a public elementary school who attains the age of 14 during a school term cannot leave school till the end of the term. The position in that respect remains unchanged; but if the school is not open at the date of the child's fourteenth birthday the Section can have no application.

Mr. Dunn

Has the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary been called to the fact that one newspaper in the country has already made a statement quite contrary to the announcement he has given?

Mr. Lindsay

I hope that the question and answer will correct that.

Sir Percy Harris

In the case where a child arrives at the school-leaving age, does the child automatically go home to its evacuation area or stay on in the reception area?

Mr. Lindsay

It will stay on.

Mr. James Hall

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that many children who are reaching the age of 14 years are actually starting work? Can he do something to prevent this?

Mr. Lindsay

I should like to know where the children are; and if the hon. Member will give me particulars I shall be glad to consider them.