HC Deb 10 April 1952 vol 498 c2966
27. Mr. Doughty

asked the Minister of Education whether she has now decided to relax the age limit of 16 years for those pupils who wish to take the general certificate of education.

Miss Horsbrugh

I have nothing at this stage to add to the answer I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Norfolk, Central (Brigadier Medlicott), on 6th March.

Mr. Doughty

In view of the great anxiety felt about this question by parents, will my hon. Friend expedite her decision in this matter as much as possible?

Miss Horsbrugh

I will do my best to decide as quickly as possible as soon as the report from Secondary School Examinations Council comes through.

Mr. Ralph Morley

Is the Minister aware that the recommendation fixing the age for taking the examination at 16 was the unanimous decision of the Secondary Schools Examination Council, and will she pause and reflect and weigh everything carefully before she agrees to the reactionary proposal to reduce the age limit?

Miss Horsbrugh

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is not aware that, soon after I took office as Minister of Education, I was informed by the Secondary Schools Examination Council that they had decided to review the situation in the light of their experience. They said they would then report to me. I am now awaiting their report. When I receive that report, I will make up my mind about it as quickly as possible.

Sir H. Williams

Will the right hon. Lady ask the Secondary Schools Examination Council to advise us as to whether hares and tortoises always run at the same speed?