HC Deb 21 January 1958 vol 580 cc878-9
29. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to secure equivalence of Scottish educational certificates with those of England and Wales.

Mr. N. Macpherson

Since the differences between Scottish and English educational certificates reflect the differences between the two educational systems, it would be undesirable to make the Scottish pattern conform exactly with the English. Every effort is made, however, to ensure that in relation to entrance requirements the proper value is assigned to passes in the Scottish certificate.

Mr. Thomson

Is the hon. Member aware that, as my right hon. Friend the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) mentioned earlier today, there is a widespread feeling in Scotland that Scottish children are being treated unfairly over these examinations; that arrangements for settling examination standards for external examinations for professional bodies and the Armed Forces are made in relation to England, and that Scotland is made to fit in piecemeal? Will he do something more about this?

Mr. Macpherson

The hon. Member will realise that it is entirely within the discretion of the individual professional and other organisations to fix the entrance qualifications which they regard as necessary, but I can assure him that the Department of Education in Scotland takes a great deal of trouble to make certain that proper weight is attached to the Scottish certificates.