13. Mr. Vane
asked the Minister of Education what provision he intends to make to ensure that no intending teacher, otherwise eligible for aid under the teachers' training grant scheme, which he has recently withdrawn, is prevented from obtaining assistance to complete his university training solely on the grounds that he elected to undertake his military service before entering a university.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
A student in this position can apply to his local education authority for an award, and I have drawn the attention of all local education authorities to the fact that their provision for university awards must in future cover some candidates who would hitherto have been receiving four year grants under the Training of Teachers Grant Regulations.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his reply affords really no safeguard? It puts the responsibility on the local education authority, which may or may not do this. Cannot the Minister give a definite assurance that where two young men of the same age are both intending to become teachers, one of whom elects to go to the university first and to postpone his National Service and the other elects to do his National Service first, the latter will not be precluded from going to the university and following the profession of his choice solely because he chooses to do his National Service first?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
The conditions concerning the man who elects to do his National Service first have been changed. The abolition of the four year grants of necessity throws upon the local authority, the State having made up to 2,000 grants, the need for making provision for these people, and in the majority of cases they will do so. It is not a watertight guarantee, but I think it will meet 99 per cent. of the cases.
In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman is prepared to deny to possible teachers a university education and the following of their profession solely because they choose to do their National Service first, I beg to give notice that I will raise this matter again on the Adjournment at an early date.