HC Deb 12 March 1953 vol 512 cc1498-9
41. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Education whether she is aware of the antiquated restrictions imposed on students in teachers' training colleges; and whether she will set up a committee to advise her on possible reforms in the conduct of these colleges.

The Minister of Education (Miss Florence Horsbrugh)

No, Sir, I am satisfied that in most colleges there are no unreasonable restrictions on students' freedom, and I see no need to set up a committee to advise me on this matter.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the Minister aware that if she is satisfied on this question she is about the only one in the country who is? Can she further explain why antiquated restrictions are so often maintained at teachers' training colleges but not at university colleges? If she is not aware of this, perhaps she would set up a committee to advise her.

Miss Horsbrugh

The hon. Gentleman will have noticed that in my answer I used the phrase, "in most colleges." I did not say, "in all colleges." I am not satisfied that at all colleges the position is satisfactory, but I am satisfied that in most colleges there are no unreasonable restrictions. I have had discussions with those who are resident in these colleges, and I think that the statement that in most colleges affairs are satisfactory is correct.

Mr. Wade

Does the right hon. Lady agree that it is most important that students should be encouraged to enter teachers' training colleges? Is she satisfied that she is fully informed as to the restrictions imposed at some of these training colleges?

Miss Horsbrugh

I think that I am fully informed. Most of the colleges are satisfactory. I would not say that all are satisfactory.

Mr. Thomas

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, I shall raise the matter at the earliest possible opportunity.

53. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Education whether she will review the system under which awards are made to training college students.

Miss Horsbrugh

The system of grants to recognised training college students has been examined from to time, and I do not consider that a further review could usefully be undertaken at the present time.

Mr. Willey

While appreciating that this is a difficult matter to dispose of by question and answer, will the right hon. Lady try to overcome her natural obstinacy and look at this matter with a fresh mind?

Miss Horsbrugh

I have looked at it again during the last few months, and I think that, from the latest statements, the hon. Gentleman will find that we get good results from the system; at least, I hope so.

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