HC Deb 01 July 1958 vol 590 c1061
27. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how the standard of education in free education authority schools compares with that provided by the same authorities in schools where they charge fees; and what steps he is taking to eliminate double standards in public education.

Mr. N. Macpherson

As indicated in my right hon. Friend's Answer to the right hon. Gentleman on 17th December last, there are in general no marked differences between free and fee-paying schools conducted by education authorities as regards curricula, quality of staff and size of classes.

Mr. Woodburn

Does that mean that the public is being charged fees under false pretences; that it is being sold something which it does not get? What is the purpose of having this kind of distinction in the schools if the education is the same and people get nothing extra for the extra money they are paying?

Mr. Macpherson

There is a demand for fee-paying places which exceeds the available places.

Mr. Woodburn

If this be a form of voluntary taxation, would not it be wiser if it were done generally, so that all schools could be improved?