HC Deb 10 April 1952 vol 498 cc2965-6
26. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Education what instructions she has issued to education authorities as to the granting of extra holidays to the children of hop-pickers during the hop-picking season.

Miss Horsbrugh

The authorities likely to be concerned were recently reminded that they can help in securing adult labour for hop-picking by allowing local variations in the dates for school holidays and by granting children leave of absence for up to 14 days to accompany their parents on a hop-picking holiday.

Mr. Williams

Is the Minister aware that there have been quite a number of prosecutions? I know the case is a very difficult one, but, if it is not possible to extend the holidays, will she ask the local authorities to treat such cases where children have to go with their parents to the hop-picking fields with very great leniency?

Miss Horsbrugh

My hon. Friend will realise that the enforcement of school attendance is the responsibility of the local education authority, and it would not be proper for me to interfere with their discretion. I shall certainly look into any particular point which my hon. Friend would like to bring to my notice.