HC Deb 21 April 1953 vol 514 cc798-9
13. Mr. N. Macpherson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will ensure that, in order that parents may be in possession of all facts necessary to enable them to form and express their wishes as to the course of secondary instruction and training to be followed by their children, in accordance with the general principles laid down in Section 29 (1) of the Education (Scotland) Act. 1946, a child's results in the promotion examination will not be withheld from his parents if they ask for them.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

No. Sir. In deciding from which secondary courses a pupil shows reasonable promise of profiting, promotion boards are required to have regard not only to his performance in intelligence and attainment tests but also to his primary teacher's estimate of his attainments and to any other relevant factors. The parent is informed which courses have been selected by the promotion Board in order that his wishes may be taken into account in finally allocating the pupil to a particular course, but no useful purpose would be served by communicating the marks scored in the various tests, which by themselves are not determining factors.

Mr. Macpherson

While they may not be determining factors, they are certainly extremely influential ones, and how is it going to be possible to carry out the purposes of the Act to enable the parents' responsibility for the education of the child to be fully maintained unless the parents wishes are taken fully into account?

Mr. Stewart

They are taken very fully into account. As in my hon. Friend's constituency of Dumfries, promotion schemes often provide for the parents' having an opportunity of consulting the primary head masters after being informed of the course to which their children are to be sent. The procedure for ascertaining the wishes of the parents varies from area to area, and I shall be glad to give my hon. Friend details if he wishes.