HC Deb 26 April 1956 vol 551 c1965
42. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Education when he anticipates extending the present school-leaving age to 17 years.

Sir D. Eccles

I have no date in mind.

Mr. Lewis

Has the attention of the Minister been drawn to the statement made by the Soviet Government that they anticipate extending the school-leaving age to 17 within the next five years? Will he examine the position to see that we are not left in a backwater on this question in the same way as we have been on technical education?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir, I have seen that statement. The hon. Gentleman will know that children in Russia go to school only at the age of 7, and that they then attend until the age of 12. I am informed that at the present time only in the cities is there a secondary course from 12 to 17, and even in the cities there is not by any means complete coverage.