HC Deb 22 January 1959 vol 598 cc384-5
9. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Education how many secondary modern school pupils sat for the General Certificate of Education examination in 1958; from how many schools; and what was the average number of passes gained.

Sir E. Boyle

Altogether, 10,600 candidates from nearly 800 secondary modern schools were entered for the General Certificate of Education at Ordinary level in the summer of 1958. The number of subjects passed averaged two per candidate, equivalent to half the subjects offered.

Mr. Swingler

Does not this show the welcome trend towards a comprehensive range of courses in the secondary modern schools? Will the Ministry give an assurance that they will encourage this trend so that all schools in the country will be providing a comprehensive syllabus?

Sir E. Boyle

What the figures show clearly is that very many children are receiving advanced courses and extended courses in modern schools and that it is possible to do this without proceeding on doctrinaire lines with any proposals for insisting that all schools should cover the full range of abilities.