HC Deb 08 December 1949 vol 470 cc2053-4
1. Mr. Symonds

asked the Minister of Education if in 1951 there will be a second examination for the general certificate of education in December, to enable candidates to sit for it who will be under 16 years of age on 1st September of that year but who will have reached the age of 16 by 1st January, 1952.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson): I

understand that four of the eight approved examining bodies intend, with the concurrence of the Secondary School Examinations Council, to offer a second examination for the general certificate of education in 1951, mainly at the ordinary level. It will, however, be available only for candidates of 16 years of age or more on 1st September, 1951.

Mr. Symonds

Will my right hon. Friend give second thoughts to the possibility of adjusting the qualifying age to suit the later date of examination? Is he aware that a boy reaching the age of 16 early in September will either have to stay at school another whole year or else take the examination after the leaving age and that that, of course, would be most unsatisfactory? Will he try to avoid over-rigidity in this matter?

Mr. Tomlinson

I will certainly look at it again. I have looked at it at least half a dozen times.

Mr. Symonds

In order to give my right hon. Friend an opportunity of having second thoughts about this matter I beg to give notice that I shall raise it on the Adjournment.