HC Deb 13 December 1945 vol 417 cc602-3
35. Mr. Gooch

asked the Minister of Education if she will ensure for children in rural areas equal opportunities with children in urban areas for a liberal education; and if she will resist pressure for specialisation in agricultural teaching in rural schools, or where such teaching is provided see that it is given in schools specially provided for senior age groups who have decided upon agriculture as a career.

Miss Wilkinson

My policy is to secure equal educational opportunities for town and country children. It will be no part of the function of the secondary modern school to give specialised vocational training for agriculture or any other industry. These schools, whether in town or country, will aim at giving a balanced general education. Farm institutes and the like, which give special training in agriculture for senior pupils, are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

May I ask the right hon. Lady whether she will consider including in this liberal education, classes of children for instruction in filling up Government forms, which is going to take up so much of their time later on?

Major Legge-Bourke

Will the hon. Lady consider including in the syllabus something of the danger to the nation which arises when the whole country at large ignores the wellbeing of its agriculture, as has happened in the past?