HC Deb 05 December 1957 vol 579 cc586-7
8. Mr. Moss

asked the Minister of Education what is now the proportion of the eligible school population selected for education at grammar schools and at technical schools, respectively; and what proportion of the remainder has the opportunity to take the General Certificate of Education in other schools.

Sir E. Boyle

In January, 1957, 20.3 per cent. of the 13-year old pupils for whom local education authorities were responsible were in grammar schools or the grammar streams of other secondary schools. Five per cent. of the 14-year old pupils were in technical schools or streams. More than a quarter of the remaining pupils were in secondary schools that normally enter candidates for the General Certificate of Education.

Mr. Moss

Has the Parliamentary Secretary seen the advertisement accepted for the 4s. 6d. book of stamps by the Post Office and which reads: If you have average intelligence, no matter what your previous education you can quickly qualify for success with our help. Does not that indicate that it is easy for people of average intelligence to get the General Certificate of Education? Is not the percentage which the Parliamentary Secretary has mentioned lower than the average, and has the hon. Gentleman allowed for the fact that in some areas the percentage is much lower than the average which he has given?

Sir E. Boyle

There are bound to be differences of some degree between one area and another. My right hon. Friend's Department does not prescribe which secondary-modern schools may enter for the General Certificate of Education. I think the hon. Gentleman would agree that as time goes on more and more secondary schools are rapidly becoming first-class, respected educational institutions in their areas.