HC Deb 26 April 1956 vol 551 cc1960-1
30. Mr. Moss

asked the Minister of Education what percentage of each age group was in full-time education at the latest available date, giving figures at 15, 16, 17 and 18–20 years of age.

Sir D. Eccles

The estimated proportions of the four age-groups named receiving full-time education in the academic year 1954 in universities and in educational establishments recognised by me were 33¼ per cent., 18¼ per cent., 9½ per cent. and 5 per cent., respectively.

Mr. Moss

Do not these figures compare very unfavourably with those in the United States and in Soviet Russia, and will the right hon. Gentleman say whether he has any reason to think that the figures for Britain will improve, in view of the fact that in the Soviet Union their successful scheme of technical education depends upon whole-time education rather than part-time education?

Sir D. Eccles

As regards the United States, of course the National Service is different and therefore the figure in the last age group in respect of England and Wales is not a good comparison. As regards Russia, the best information I have is that the percentage of children over the age of 12 in school in this country, let alone the ages in this Question, is very much higher.

Dame Florence Horsbrugh

Has my right hon. Friend any information he could give us as to the fees that must be paid in Russia for all the schooling?

Sir D. Eccles

I understand nothing is paid now—they have changed.