HC Deb 24 January 1957 vol 563 cc374-5
16. Mr. Moss

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education to what extent late transfers overcome the difficulties of selection at eleven years of age.

Sir E. Boyle

Selection at eleven years of age is difficult only if it is thought of as finally determining educational opportunities. This can be avoided partly by giving opportunities for later transfer, partly by developing a wide range of courses within the various secondary schools, and partly by strengthening the links between schools and further education. All should play their part in varying proportions in different local circumstances.

Mr. Moss

Can the hon. Member say whether a high proportion of late transfers do, in fact, become early leavers from grammar schools? Does not late transfer involve certain problems on its own account, apart from selection at eleven years of age?

Sir E. Boyle

I am sure the hon. Member knows that there is an interesting passage on this topic in the Central Advisory Council's Report on Early Leaving. This is a very big question, and I think that the hon. Member would agree with me that it is more suitable for debate than for Question Time.

Mr. Fletcher-Cooke

Will my hon. Friend take this problem of late transfers really seriously? Is he aware that many of us believe that the only way to save the grammar schools is to make their intake by late transfers not only more readily available but more readily acceptable to all parties?

Sir E. Boyle

I can assure my hon. Friend that I will pass on his suggestion and his ideas to my noble Friend.

Mr. M. Stewart

Can the hon. Member now answer my hon. Friend's question? We all agree that late transfer may be useful. Can he tell us the extent of it at the present time?

Sir E. Boyle

I canont give any precise figures. It is at present a relatively small proportion, but that does not mean that the proportion could not be increased.